Culture and Online Distance Learning

Authored by: Charlotte N. Gunawardena

Handbook of Distance Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415897648
eBook ISBN: 9780203803738
Adobe ISBN: 9781136635571


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Online distance learning (ODL) has become a global phenomenon transcending national, political, and geographical boundaries challenging distance educators to reexamine notions of teaching and learning and issues of culture inherent in cross-border delivery of online courses and programs. Rogers, Graham, and Mayes (2007) note that the sheer amount of learning content being developed in the West (defined for this chapter as Eurocentric, North American, Australasian) and exported via the Internet to other countries highlights the crucial need to explore questions of culture more thoroughly in our online course designs to provide a more equitable learning experience for all. Global universities are faced with the choice between continuing to expect all students to adjust to traditional English-Western academic values and uses of language, or changing their processes to accommodate others (Pincas, 2001).

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