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The formation of learners’ semiosphere by authentic inquiry with an integrated learning object “Young Scientist”

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Computers & Education Volume 49, Number 4, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


An integrated learning object, a web-based inquiry environment “Young Scientist” for basic school level is introduced by applying the semiosphere conception for explaining learning processes. The study focused on the development of students’ (n=30) awareness of the affordances of learning objects (LO) during the 3 inquiry tasks, and their ability of dynamically reconstructing meanings in the inquiry subtasks through exploiting these LO affordances in “Young Scientist”. The problem-solving data recorded by the inquiry system and the awareness questionnaire served as the data-collection methods.It was demonstrated that learners obtain complete awareness of the LO affordances in an integrated learning environment only after several problem-solving tasks. It was assumed that the perceived task-related properties and functions of LOs depend on students’ interrelations with LOs in specific learning contexts. Learners’ overall awareness of certain LO affordances, available in the inquiry system “Young Scientist”, developed with three kinds of patterns, describing the hierarchical development of the semiosphere model for learners. The better understanding of the LO affordances, characteristic to the formation of the functioning semiosphere, was significantly related to the advanced knowledge construction during these inquiry subtasks that presumed translation of information from one semiotic system to another. The implications of the research are discussed in the frames of the development of new contextual gateways for learning with virtual objects. It is assumed that effective LO-based learning has to be organized through pedagogically constrained gateways by manifesting certain LO affordances in the context in order to build up the dynamic semiosphere model for learners.


Pata, K., Pedaste, M. & Sarapuu, T. (2007). The formation of learners’ semiosphere by authentic inquiry with an integrated learning object “Young Scientist”. Computers & Education, 49(4), 1357-1377. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved March 25, 2019 from .

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