Culturally Significant Signs, Symbols, and Philosophical Belief Systems within E-Learning Environments

Culturally Significant Signs, Symbols, and Philosophical Belief Systems within E-Learning Environments

Caroline M. Crawford (University of Houston, Clear Lake, USA) and Ruth Gannon Cook (DePaul University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-989-7.ch003
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Abstract

The contextual backdrop of the problem and goal of the study are based within the framework that the researchers wanted to be sure that the courses were unique in their appropriateness to their respective cultures; but they also wanted to see if the course adaptations provided cultural values and perspectives that were fairly consistent and appropriate across cultures and nations. The methodology is qualitative in nature, specifically focused upon development design research and narrative inquiry. The findings suggest that there were several levels of concern: learner concerns; instructional design or teaching concerns; management and organizational concerns; and, technology concerns. This study has addressed the question “what lessons could be learned from semiotic and philosophical instructional imperatives inclusion within e-learning environments?” As such, the interpretation of the findings of the study shed light on the importance of simple mediation tools, such as signs, symbols, and stories. The implications of the findings indicate that more research could shed light on how to help students feel comfortable enough to follow through and complete their e-learning courses. In viewing best practices for e-learning, students’ existent knowledge can be bridged with what they need to know by using a variety of the semiotic tools discussed in this study.

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