Interculturality in Online Learning: Instructor and Student Accommodations
Interculturality, online teaching and learning, instructor-student interaction, international students, academic discourse
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AbstractAs more distance education courses broaden their reach across borders, the chances of online classes being multicultural are high. This means that more often students may find themselves in courses designed for and by a host culture that differs from their own regarding its approach to teaching and learning. Compounding the difficulties inherent in a novel cultural environment and its unfamiliar forms of academic discourse are challenges represented by the medium itself. This year-long case study examines the experiences and reflections of a Chinese graduate student and her U.S. instructor; specifically the accommodations both made to mediate differences and mitigate these challenges. Analyses suggest that when both parties take differences into account and exercise thoughtful accommodations relative to both the challenges of the online medium and language socialization, positive learning experiences can result.