Milly (2010). Accommodating cultural differences in web-delivered education: Instructional design for international distance learning.

Milly, S. (2010). Accommodating cultural differences in web-delivered education: Instructional design for international distance learning. In Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2010 (Vol. 2010, pp. 2798-2804). Chesapeake, Virginia: AACE. Retrieved from

“… to demonstrate that teaching paradigms are value-laden, rather than neutral …” (p 2798)

“This examination reveals that the constructivist paradigm tends to favor Western values and educational practices.” (p 2798)

“… this paper is not suggesting that current educational practices and use of networked educational technologies are intentionally being used in oppressive ways.” (p 2799)

“… I propose that the challenge of overcoming cultural difference in distance web-based learning can most effectively be addressed through culturally-appropriate course design.” (p 2799)

“Henderson (1996) … Consequently, teaching paradigms, as well as instructional media, are not neutral, but value-laden and ensuing instructional processes are subjective rather than objective (Gunawardena, et al., 2003; McLoughlin & Oliver, 2000).” (p 2800)

“Indigenous or Aboriginal peoples who view learning as a privilege rather than a right and see knowledge passed on by elders as a gift, consider questioning knowledge as socially unacceptable since this amounts to challenging the established authority of elders and traditional ways of life (Henderson, 1996).” (p 2800)

“Students from cultures where teachers are highly respected, for instance, experience cultural alienation when in a debate situation they are asked to think critically, voice opinions openly or defend positions which may conflict or challenge those of their teachers (Bates, 2001; Chen, 2001). Similarly, Tam (2000) argues that the constructivist notion of teacher as facilitator conflicts with the Eastern understanding of the teacher as master and does not sit well with traditional Asian cultures where the teacher is expected to be the expert.” (p 2800)

“… integrating several pedagogical methods will improve the likelihood of achieving effective learning …” (p 2801)

“Shearer (2007) … ‘ … there is no one best technology and it is the usually a combination of technologies that produces the best course in terms of meeting the learners’ educational objectives’ (p. 230).” (p 2801)

“Stated simply, ‘when the variety of learners, cultures, and learning styles presents a challenge […] variety itself becomes the solution (Sanchez and Gunawardena, 1998, p. 61).” (p 2802)

Selected references

  • Bates, T. (2001). International distance education: Cultural and ethical issues. Distance Education, 22, 122-136.
  • Collis, B. (1999). Designing for differences: Cultural issues in the design of WWW-based course-support sites [Special edition]. British Journal of Educational Technology, 30, 201-215.
  • Gunawardena, C., Wilson, P., & Nolla, A. (2003). Culture and on-line education. In M. Moore & W. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of distance education. (pp. 753-775). Mahwah, N.J.: Earlbaum.
  • Hall, E. (1966). The hidden dimension. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
  • Hall, E. (1976). Beyond Culture. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
  • Henderson, L. (1996). Instructional design of interactive multimedia: A cultural critique.  Educational Technology Research and Development, 44, 86-104.
  • Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Reeves, T. & Reeves, P. (1997). Effective dimensions of interactive learning on the World Wide Web. In B. Khan (Ed.), Web-based instruction, (pp. 59-66). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
  • Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Wild, M. (1999). Editorial [Special edition]. British Journal of Educational Technology, 30, 195-199.
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