Designing Culturally Sensitive Massive Open Online Courses: Learning Culture and MOOCs in Turkey

Designing Culturally Sensitive Massive Open Online Courses: Learning Culture and MOOCs in Turkey

Cengiz Hakan Aydin (Anadolu University, Turkey) and Buket Kip Kayabaş (Anadolu University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3076-3.ch011
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Abstract

Since cultural characteristics of the learners is among the factors that affect the quality of learning experiences, designing the online learning environment sensitive to the cultural characteristics of learners is a must for ensuring an effective and engaging learning experience. The MOOCs movement has helped administrators, designers, educators, learners and all the other stakeholders re-consider our current instructional, assessment and administrative processes, especially in higher education. The goal of this manuscript has three folds: first, it briefs development of the philosophy of openness in higher education globally; then, based-on available literature it draws a picture about the effects of culture on open and distance learning; later, the manuscript provides an insight about the general cultural characteristics of Turkish society and the learning culture shaped by the past and present implementations; finally, it lists a number of recommendations for those who are designing MOOCs for Turkish audience.
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Introduction

As it is with other terms in social sciences, it is difficult to find a consensus on the definition of culture. According to Mole (1995) “culture is a woolly, flaky, pretentious, unbusiness-like, mildly derisive work like intellectual or bureaucratic” and his definition of culture is “the way we do things around here”. The way of doing things is guided by the set of attitudes, norms, values, beliefs, and behaviors of people. Matsumoto (1996) considers this set, shared by a group of people, but different for each individual, communicated from one generation to the next, as culture. Chen and Starosta (1999) have indicated that cultures are defined by values and norms. These may vary according to national, organizational, regional, ethnic, religious, linguistic affiliation, gender, generation, social class, and family levels.

The goal of this manuscript has three folds: first, it briefs development of the philosophy of openness in higher education globally and nationally; then, based-on available literature it draws a picture about the effects of culture on open and distance learning; later, the manuscript provides an insight about the general cultural characteristics of Turkish society and the learning culture shaped by the past and present implementations; finally, it lists a number of recommendations for those who are designing Massive Open Online Courses for Turkish audiences.

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