Dialogic pedagogy and semiotic-dialogic inquiry into visual literacies and augmented reality

Main Article Content

Zoe Hurley


Technological determinism has been driving conceptions of technology enhanced learning for the last two decades at least. The abrupt shift to the emergency delivery of online courses during COVID-19 has accelerated big tech’s coup d’état of higher education, perhaps irrevocably. Yet, commercial technologies are not necessarily aligned with dialogic conceptions of learning while a technological transmission model negates learners’ input and interactions. Mikhail Bakhtin viewed words as the multivocal bridge to social thought. His theory of the polysemy of language, that has subsequently been termed dialogism, has strong correlations with the semiotic philosophy of American pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce. Peirce’s semiotic philosophy of signs extends far beyond words, speech acts, linguistics, literary genres, and/or indeed human activity. This study traces links between Bakhtin’s dialogism with Peirce’s semiotics. Conceptual synthesis develops the semiotic-dialogic framework. Taking augmented reality as a theoretical case, inquiry illustrates that while technologies are subsuming traditional pedagogies, teachers and learners, this does not necessarily open dialogic learning. This is because technologies are never dialogic, in and of themselves, although semiotic learning always involves social actors’ interpretations of signs. Crucially, semiotic-dialogism generates theorising of the visual literacies required by learners to optimise technologies for dialogic learning.

Article Details

How to Cite
Hurley, Z. (2021). Dialogic pedagogy and semiotic-dialogic inquiry into visual literacies and augmented reality. Dialogic Pedagogy: A Journal for Studies of Dialogic Education, 9, A60-A73. https://doi.org/10.5195/dpj.2021.280
Author Biography

Zoe Hurley, Zayed University, Dubai. United Arab Emirates

Zoe Hurley (PhD, Lancaster University, UK) is the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Zoe teaches undergraduate courses in social media and new media writing. She is interested in semiotics, dialogism and questions of power in technology enhanced learning. She has published academic papers on Arab women’s social media, postdigital living and online learning during COVID-19.


Adobe (2020) Creative Cloud for schools, universities, institutions / https://www.adobe.com/mena_en/creativecloud/buy/education.html?sdid=B16P4299&mv=search&ef_id=Cj0KCQjwufn8BRCwARIsAKzP697bnnh8RZdfObBxPvmRriCvrNoB2MTZYpgUwyel5akOwc-dmINUZUYaAiTIEALw_wcB:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!3085!3!397323857730!e!!g!!adobe%20creative%20cloud%20education!1677056358!71951618824

Aronowitz, S. (2015). Against orthodoxy: Social theory and its discontents. New York: Palgrave and MacMillan.

Bakhtin, M. (1986). Rabelais and his world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Bakhtin, M. (1999). The problem of speech genres. In A. Jaworski & N. Coupland, The discourse reader (pp. 121 - 132). London and New York: Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group.

Bergman, M. (2009). Peirce's philosophy of communication. The rhetorical underpinnings of the theory of signs. London: Continuum.

Cassidy, M., & Knowlton, J. (1983). Visual literacy: A failed metaphor?. ECTJ, 31(Michael F. Cassidy & James Q. Knowlton), 67-90.

Cresswell, J. (2016). Disengagement, pedagogical eros and (the undoing of?) Dialogic pedagogy. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 4. doi: 10.5195/dpj.2016.182

Debes, J. (1969). The Loom of Visual Literacy--An Overview. Audiovisual Instrument, 14(8), 25-7.

Dewey, J. (1922). Human nature and conduct. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Denzin, N. (2001). The reflexive interview and a performative social science. Qualitative Research, 1(1), 23-46. https://doi.org/10.1177/146879410100100102

Di Serio, A., Ibáñez, M., & Kloos, C. (2013). Impact of an augmented reality system on students' motivation for a visual art course. Computers & Education, 68, 586-596. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.03.002

Dori, Y., & Belcher, J. (2005). How does technology-enabled active learning affect undergraduate students' understanding of electromagnetism concepts?. Journal of The Learning Sciences, 14(2), 243-279. doi: 10.1207/s15327809jls1402_3

Dunleavy, M. (2014). Design principles for augmented reality learning. Techtrends, 58(1), 28-34. doi: 10.1007/s11528-013-0717-2

Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R. (2009). Affordances and limitations of Immersive participatory augmented reality simulations for teaching and learning. Journal Of Science Education And Technology, 18(1), 7-22. doi: 10.1007/s10956-008-9119-1

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed (11th ed.). London: The Continuum Publishing Company.

Freire, P. (1978). Pedagogy in process: The letters to Guinea-Bissau.. New York: Seabury Press.

Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Freire, P., & Macedo, D. (1987). Literacy: Reading the word & the world. South Hadley: Mass.: Bergin & Garvey Publishers.

Hoban, C., Hoban, C., & Zissman, S. (1937). Visualising the Curriculum. New York: Dryden press.

Hurley, Z. (2016). WoW! Window on the World: IPADS and Augmented Reality for Richer Readings. In Academic Oasis International Multidisciplinary Academic Conference. Miami: Academic Oasis International Multidisciplinary Academic Conference.

Hurley, Z. (2018). Book review: Introducing multimodality. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, 15(1). doi: 10.18538/lthe.v15.n1.311

Hurley, Z. (2019a). Imagined affordances of Instagram and the fantastical authenticity of Gulf-Arab social media influencers. Social Media + Society, 5 (1).

Hurley, Z. (2019b). Why I no longer believe social media is cool . . . Social Media + Society, 5(3). doi: 10.1177/2056305119849495

Hurley, Z. (2021). Dialogic theorising of Emirati women’s technology enhanced learning in the United Arab Emirates. Studies in Technology Enhanced Learning. doi: 10.21428/8c225f6e.b70d4b5a

Ivanov, G., & Ivanov, M. (2011). Enhancement of learning and teaching in computer graphics through marker augmented reality technology. International Journal of New Computer Architectures And Their Applications, 1(1), 176 - 184.

Jay, M. (1988). The rise of hermeneutics and the crisis of ocularcentrism. Poetics Today, 9(2), 307. doi: 10.2307/1772691

Lacković, N. (2020). Inquiry graphics in higher education. Springer Nature.

Lotman, J. (2005). On the semiosphere. Sign Systems Studies, 33(1), 205-229. doi: 10.12697/sss.2005.33.1.09

Mahadzir, N., & Phung, L. (2013). The use of augmented reality pop-up book to increase motivation in English language learning for national primary school. IOSR Journal of Research & Method In Education (IOSRJRME), 1(1), 26-38. doi: 10.9790/7388-0112638

Martin-Gutierrez, J., & Fernández, M. (2014). Augmented reality environments in learning, communicational and professional contexts in higher education. Digital Education Review, (26).

Matusov, E. (2009). Journey into dialogic pedagogy. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Matusov, E. (2020). Pattern-recognition, intersubjectivity, and dialogic meaning-making in education. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 8. doi: 10.5195/dpj.2020.314

Matusov, E., & Marjanovic-Shane, A. (2017). Bakhtin’s mystical organic holism and its consequences for education. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 5. doi: 10.5195/dpj.2017.222

Matusov, E., von Duyke, K., & Kayumova, S. (2015). Mapping concepts of agency in educational contexts. Integrative Psychological And Behavioral Science, 50(3), 420-446. doi: 10.1007/s12124-015-9336-0

Mead, G. (1934). Mind, Self & Society. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Means, A. (2018). Learning to save the future. New York: Routledge.

MIT. (2021). John Werner | MIT Connection Science. Retrieved 7 July 2021, from http://connection.mit.edu/john-werner

Mirzoeff, N. (2006). On visuality. Journal of Visual Culture, 5(1), 53-79. https://doi.org/10.1177/1470412906062285

Olteanu, A. (2015). Philosophy of education in the semiotics of Charles Peirce. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Olteanu, A. (2019). Multiculturalism as multimodal communication. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Peirce, C. (1867). C. S. Peirce Manuscripts | FromThePage. Retrieved 5 October 2019, from https://www.fromthepage.com/display/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&collection_id=16&search_string=1868&button=

Peirce, C. (1878). How to make our ideas clear. Popular Science Monthly, 12(Jan), 286 - 302.

Peirce, C. (1908). The essential Peirce. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Peirce, C. (1931). The collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Vol. I: The principles of philosophy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Petrilli, S. (2017). Challenges to living together: Transculturalism, migration, exploitation for a semioethics of human relations. Milan: Mimesis International.

Pettersson, R. (1989). Visuals for information, research and practice (p. 146). Educational Technology Publications.

Roberts, P. (2003). Pedagogy, neoliberalism and postmodernity: Reflections on Freire's later work. Educational Philosophy And Theory, 35(4), 451-465. doi: 10.1111/1469-5812.00041

Semetsky, I., & Stables, A. (2014). Pedagogy and edusemiotics: Theoretical challenges/practical opportunities. Vol. 62: Springer.

Solak, E., & Cakır, R. (2015). Exploring the effect of materials designed with augmented reality on language learners' vocabulary learning, 13(2). Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1068381.pdf

Speicher, M. (2018). What is augmented reality, anyway?. Retrieved 7 July 2021, from https://theconversation.com/what-is-augmented-reality-anyway-99827

Stables, A., Nöth, W., Olteanu, A., Pesce, S., & Pikkarainen, E. (2018). Semiotic theory of learning. London: Routledge.

Strand, T. (2010). The making of a new cosmopolitanism. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 29(2), 229-242. doi: 10.1007/s11217-009-9161-3

Wegerif, R. (2017) Defining 'dialogic education'. Retrieved 3 March 2020, from https://www.rupertwegerif.name/blog/defining-dialogic-education

Werner, J. (2019). How augmented reality can give us superpowers | John Werner | TEDxMidAtlantic. Retrieved 7 July 2021, from https://www.youtubei: 10.1016/j.procs.2015.09.277