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ERIC Number: EJ830330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1096-7516
Cultural Diversity in Online Learning: A Study of the Perceived Effects of Dissonance in Levels of Individualism/Collectivism and Tolerance of Ambiguity
Tapanes, Marie A.; Smith, Glenn G.; White, James A.
Internet and Higher Education, v12 n1 p26-34 Jan 2009
Online learning courses are hypothesized to be influenced by the instructors' and students' cultural values. This study collected survey data from online instructors and students to analyze the effects that Hofstede's individualism/collectivism and ambiguity (in)tolerance cultural dimensions exert on online courses offered from an individualist/ambiguity tolerant perspective. Results revealed that the students' cultural dimensions relate significantly to some of their perceptions of culture in the online classroom. Contrary to their individualist peers, collectivist learners felt that their individualist instructors were not usually aware of cultural differences in the online classroom and that their culture was not being considered to make learning relevant to their cultural context. Ambiguity intolerant students, in contrast with their ambiguity tolerant peers, felt that cultural background consideration is important and would appreciate being informed about relevant cultural differences they might experience taking an online course based on a different cultural perspective. Students from ambiguity intolerant cultures also reported less motivation to participate than their counterparts. In addition, language was found to influence the participation patterns when the ambiguity (in)tolerance values of the students were studied. However, language was not found to influence participation patterns for the individualist/collectivist dimension. The results of the study suggest that cultural differences do affect how students perceive the online classroom. (Contains 3 figures and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A