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Cross-Cultural Online Learning

Chad O'Brien, MEd
Instructional Designer
Centre for Learning and Teaching

Canada’s 77 universities and 87 colleges are increasing their online offerings to students both across Canada and internationally. (pg. 7, Contact North, 2012) The combined growth in international students, program offerings online, and students studying via the Internet lead to an increase in instances of international students studying in online environments that were developed in countries with a significant difference in cultural values.

Culture is a social construct and results from an individual’s need to be a part of a larger group. Cultural values differ between groups, and these differences as they relate to learning can at times create barriers to learning that extend beyond language. Cross-cultural learning occurs when a student’s way of learning, as rooted in their national culture, diverges significantly from the teachers. It is an event where the teacher’s individual bias, as a result of their national cultural values, creates an unfamiliar and challenging learning expectation for the foreign student.

This workshop will explore the meaning of cross-cultural learning in an online context. The most recent findings as they relate to the topic will be presented and discussed. Opinions of participants will be collected and interest in collaboration to conduct research on this topic will be explored.

Register for this event




Killam Library, Room B400




Michelle Soucy
Communications and Event Planning Officer
Centre for Learning and Teaching
Dalhousie University
Killam Library, Suite G90
Tel: (902) 494-6641
Email: Michelle.Soucy@dal.ca