Between ideal and reality

Sungae Yoo (Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Hye Jeong Kim (Center for Teaching and Learning, Chungang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
So Young Kwon (Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Journal for Multicultural Education

ISSN: 2053-535X

Publication date: 8 April 2014



The purpose of this study is to examine similar and/or different perspectives on, and practices of online-learning interaction as projected by the participating educators who are from either Korea or the USA.


In this study, the authors analyzed how college instructors from two countries, Korea and the USA, consider the role of online-learning interaction in their students' learning by interviewing nine instructors from both countries. The authors examined the educators' responses using constructivism and Confucianism as the frame of reference.


The analysis showed that the US instructors tend to focus on learner-to-learner interaction, whereas Korean instructors emphasized teacher-to-learner interaction. Korean instructors perceived a gap between ideal and reality in integrating interaction as a part of online activities in the course.


This study focuses on a cross-national comparison of online-learning interaction between Korea and the USA. Thus, it will provide practical ideas for global or multicultural user experiences on online-learning courses.



Yoo, S., Jeong Kim, H. and Young Kwon, S. (2014), "Between ideal and reality", Journal for Multicultural Education, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 13-30.

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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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