Communication technologies, distance education, educational mediated communication, visual semiotics, electronic publishing, CMC, conversational analysis, tutoring.
Like its partner subprojects, subproject B will use the Poschiavo Project as a unique and rich opportunity for observational and experimental research. The subproject focuses on the issue of educational communication mediated by technology. It proposes a communicational and semio-pragmatic approach to the study of two particular forms of mediated communication which tend to feature strongly in technology-based distance education programmes: the electronic publication of educational materials (Line 1) and email interaction among the different participants (Line 2).
Its principal aims are:
The 35-month program of research will appeal to a variety of established analysis methodologies in order to address its various aims: a relational text/paratext model will be validated empirically on the basis of inter-rater agreements; qualitative and quantitive corpus analyses will be undertaken; experimental analyses will focus on text readability and evocative potential, and on the impact of marking icons on the management of reading; comparative study of different electronic prestentations will be based on participant enquiry and special experimental tools; opinion surveys among producers and users will complement other analyses of materials quality; and communication protocols will feature in the study of mediated verbal interactions.
The findings will contribute to a better understanding of the different forms of mediated pedagogical communication in the context of open and distance learning. They will also serve to highlight appropriate recommendations for the improvement of the production of technology-based learning materials, along with the identification of appropriate tutoring strategies in a computer-based communication environment. These recommendations might be integrated into the STAF cursus but also into the Poschiavo projetc methodology.