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Towards a social theory of semiotic technology: Exploring PowerPoint's design and its use in higher education and corporate settings

Funding: 2009: $120,000
2010: $110,000
2011: $110,000

Project Member(s): van Leeuwen, T.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2009

Summary: As the dominance of PowerPoint in evaluations of academic and professional success steadily increases, there is a pressing need to understand the interaction between its design and use. This project will investigate PowerPoint s communicative potential and limitations, the normative discourses that govern its use in higher education and business, and its actual use in these settings. Innovative outcomes of the investigation will include: a deeper understanding of the influence of PowerPoint on communication and literacy practices; an accessible metalanguage for describing PowerPoint; a theoretically-grounded, evidence-based and context-sensitive framework for evaluating its use; and the outline for a social theory of semiotic technology.

Keywords: systemic functional linguistics, multimodality, social semiotics, genre,

FOR Codes: Multimedia Programming, Visual Communication, Discourse and Pragmatics, Educational Technology and Computing, Languages and Literacy, Multimedia, Educational Technology and Media, Higher education, Learner and Learning Achievement