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Silent Instructions:

Semiotics in
Asynchronous
E-learning courses
Icons through the lens of semiotic studies
25 e-learning courses were analysed
Why is it important?
• No teacher/instructor who can facilitate the
learning process.

• Inadequacy of the interfaces > Damages for


the learning processes.

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The theory…
• Semiotics: study of meaning-making, the study
of sign process and meaningful communication.

• Computational semiotics: study of the nature


and the usage of signs in the computer.

• Social semiotics: investigates human signifying


practices in specific social and cultural
circumstances.

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The Peircean
Triad

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User-Interface Metaphor
Take advantage of people's knowledge of the world around them
Research questions
• For what purposes are visual instructions
used?

• What are the prime considerations of


choosing visual instruction icons?

• What are the conventional icons used in an


e-learning course?

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Data collection instrument
Data analysis
Procedures
• Identify and quantify each occurrence of
visual instruction elements

• Analyse the purpose

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Research question 1:
For what purposes are visual instructions used?
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Icon of instruction text Revealing extra information Indicating where to click
Retry Visited item 11
Research question 2:
What are the prime considerations of choosing
visual instruction icons?
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1

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No icon Arbitrary Metaphor 12
Research question 3:
What are the conventional icons used in an
e-learning course?

INSTRUCTION ICONS – Metaphors of action


• Hand icon
• Mouse icons
• Exlamation mark

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Research question 3:
What are the conventional icons used in an
e-learning course?

EXTRA INFORMATION– Metaphors of revealing sg.


• Plus icon
• Magnifier icons
• Question mark
• Light bulb

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Research question 3:
What are the conventional icons used in an
e-learning course?

CLICK HERE – Metaphor of clicking


• Mouse icon

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Meaningful metaphors > enhance the learning process