The World Wide Web and Cross-Cultural Teaching in Online Education

The World Wide Web and Cross-Cultural Teaching in Online Education

Tatjana Takševa Chorney (St. Mary’s University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-652-5.ch078
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Abstract

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) and the properties of the online environment in general are inherently suited to help educators reconceptualize their role and engage in constructive cross-cultural communication. This is due to the new technologies’ potential to enable collaborative teaching in an environment of diverse users and to support multiple learning styles. At the same time, the presence of collaborative technology itself does not guarantee that successful cross-cultural communication and learning will take place. The disembodied nature of online communication can sometimes add to the inherent challenges that accompany face-to-face cross-cultural communication. Instructors who teach in cross-cultural contexts online will need to engage with the new technologies in a more purposeful way and apply that engagement to program design and teaching practice. They will need to devote some time to designing for interaction and collaboration in order to overcome common challenges in cross-cultural communication. A more systematic study of the open-ended and interaction- enabling properties of the World Wide Web would help those who design for diversity in online educational environment. The open-ended and interactive nature of the World Wide Web, as the main platform for online crosscultural teaching, can serve as a conceptual model to help teachers overcome common challenges in cross-cultural communication.

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