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Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Different Vision in eLearning: Metaphors

Don’t miss this pertinent articles, appears in Electronic Journal of e-Learning, Volume 9, Issue 1, 2011, how Tuncay, Stanescu and Tuncay present a very innovative approach to the use of metaphors in e‑learning to reinforce communication between students and teachers.

A Different Vision in eLearning: Metaphors

Metaphors are figures of speech in which a word or phrase that denotes a certain object or idea is applied to another word or phrase to imply some similarity between them. Due to their ability to make speaking and writing more lively and interesting, metaphors have always been popular among students.
While metaphors provide significant enhancement of contexts and build upon the sense of community, they can limit the boundaries of the communication between students and teachers. In order to carry out student oriented courses, teachers ought to consider the metaphors students use. In an effort to understand and fill in this communication gap, the authors of this paper have initiated a study that aimed to drive out the e-education students‟ metaphors in order to suggest a vision for future e-courses.
The authors have designed the "E-Education Metaphor Analysis Survey" that comprised 35 items and captured data about e-education students‟ metaphors. The questionnaire was posted on and was distributed to e-education students in two countries: Turkey and Cyprus. 352 students filled the questionnaire.
The answers revealed that the metaphors students use are influenced by their way of life, their personal characteristics, their educational background and their feelings. Internet was the most common metaphor used for e-education. A very interesting fact was that 47% of the students considered E-Student to be equivalent to "rich students‟ education" and that the term recalled them the metaphor "richness".
Although there were many research studies on common metaphors and their impact on e-education, there were no studies in the literature about eLearning metaphors. This paper presents an innovative approach that focuses on 7 key research questions and represents a first step of a more detailed future project undertaken by the authors.

Source: The Electronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL)