Rogers, P.C., Graham, C.R., & Mayes, C. (2007). Cultural competence and instructional design: Exploration research into the delivery of online instruction cross-culturally. Education Technology Research 55 197-217
The growing of online education motivates the authors to integrate cultural issues into online education research because they found out the Western culture may dominate online education which may influence learning for those from other cultural backgrounds. They investigated the relationship between culture and online education through the role of instructional designer and found there were few researches on exploring the lived experiences of instructional designers. They formed the following research questions:
(1) Are they aware of the differences between themselves and the cultural group for whom they are designing instruction?
(2) If so:
(a) How did they become aware of these differences?
(b) What importance do these differences assume in their thinking?
(c) How does understanding cultural differences affect instructional design practice?
They conducted a grounded theory study because there is no appropriate existing theoretical framework for this complex multi-faceted issue. They adopted snowball-sampling technique to find their cases and attained 12 cases/participants.
In their study, instructional designer have awareness of cultural differences but they are a limited awareness. Being aware of signiﬁcant differences between cultures does not mean that we are aware of what all of those differences are or of all the ways in which they inﬂuence learning. Several elements were identified to be connected to issue of awareness, including General cultural and social expectation, Teaching and learning expectations, Language and symbols, and Technological infrastructure and familiarity. The second research question, how we increase awareness of culture differences was investigated through the opposite, what the barriers are? Barriers they proposed include IDT focus on content development, lack of evaluation in real-world practice, and organizational structures and the role of instructional designers. They concluded impacts of cultural awareness on instructional design practice through the following dimensions in response to the problem of the barriers:
(a) Separating deeper principles from particular application: though culture might inﬂuences initial receptivity to various forms of once learners get used to new forms they can ﬁnd them very helpful, such as collaborative learning. Instructional designers, thus, should think deeply about the principles and separate them from the application one already knows. It is possible to find ways of utilizing these principles across contexts.
(b) Identifying gaps where bridges are needed: through immersion in the culture, integrating learner feedback in learner analysis, and in formative evaluation
(c) Allowing for more ﬂexibility in the design process
(d) Educating other stakeholders (e.g., the client and subject matter expert)