Globalization and Localization in Online Settings

Globalization and Localization in Online Settings

Lesley S. J. Farmer (California State University – Long Beach, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8286-1.ch011

Abstract

In designing online instruction, increasingly educators need to consider cultural aspects of the educational philosophy, concepts, language, resources, teaching strategies, ICT literacy, learning activities, and student interaction. These elements largely depend on the learning outcomes and the learners' situation. While some factors are universal, such as declarative knowledge and basic human needs, others are much more culturally defined, such as “soft” skills and prior educational experience. This chapter focuses on evaluating the need for globalizing or localizing resources and experiences based on needs assessment. It also gives strategies on ways to globalize or localize these resources and experiences.
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Background

Culture may be defined as “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group” and “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization” (Merriam-Webster, 2018). Individuals tend to belong to several cultures: familial, educational, ethnic, racial, national, professional, job-based, economics-based, recreational, social. The Internet itself even may be considered a culture (Insung & Gunawardena, 2014). These cultures may overlap significantly, but they can also conflict with each other. Cultures are complex and dynamic, which adds to the challenge of addressing them; nevertheless, they need to be considered seriously because of their impact. In education, cultural issues apply to the learner, the instructor, the intended learning environment and context, as well the content of learning itself.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social media: The collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing, and collaboration.

Globalization: The process of creating a product that can be used for audiences worldwide.

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Education that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning.

Digital Divide: The gap between “haves” and “have-nots” relative to technology access.

Accommodation (Educational): A specialized modification or adjustment to provide an equitable opportunity to learn.

Collectivism: The practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.

Culture: Customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; a stable set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.

Localization: The practice of adjusting a product's functional properties and characteristics to accommodate the language, cultural, political, and legal differences of a foreign audience.

Instructional Design: A systematic analysis of training needs and the development of aligned instruction.

Cultural Competence: A congruent set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable a person or group to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.

E-Learning, Online Learning: Learning that occurs using online networks.

Collaboration: Interdependent working relationships to achieve shared goals.

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