Open and distance learning (ODL) connects learners across geographical boundaries. Through the support of the Internet and Learning Management Systems (LMS), learners nowadays are conveniently learning and communicating via the online mode. Nevertheless, will the cultural diversity of learners affect their learning and interaction behavior in the web-based environment? This is viewed as one of the relatively unexplored scope of research areas worthy investigating via a comparative analysis of two countries from Asia but with different contexts of society. This article investigates the learners' online interaction of two open universities, namely Shanghai TV University in China and Wawasan Open University in Malaysia. Based on the findings of this comparative study, the authors are of the opinion that national cultural diversity of learners affects and influences their learning and interaction behavior in the online platform. The effect of cultural diversity of learners is in fact prominent in several aspects in their online learning and interaction behavior as observed in the synchronous chat sessions and asynchronous forum board discussions. In order to better guide the learners as well as to eliminate the negative impact of national cultural diversity on learning outcome, several suggestions and recommendations are proposed.
Bing, W. and Ping, T. (2008), "A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF LEARNERS INTERACTION IN THE ONLINE LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS: DOES NATIONAL CULTURE MATTER?", Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAOUJ-03-01-2008-B001Download as .RIS
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