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Title: The impact of culture on distance education
Author: Nie, Ming
ISNI:       0000 0001 3446 5031
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2006
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With the advent of networked information and communication tec:h.J'.10!ogies distance education has taken to new heights. In the wake of this development distance learning has also become international. 'Western educational institutions, particularly of English speaking count.ries, teach distance learners ofother cultures often without cultural differences into consideration. This leads to particular teaching lli,d learning experiences for overseas students and their local tutors. The thesis at hand focuses on the learning experiences of distance learning students in Hong Kong, Egypt, and London. It identifies major cultural influences on their learning and teaching styles reveals the mechanisms students and tutors employ to close the cultural gap. For purpose a qualitative study has been carried out with students emolled on a Masters program at Middlesex University. The study explores the different teaching and learning styles of each country and relates these to the cultural values of the country. It compares the teaching and learning styles across countries to distinguish cultural differences from those caused by economic and other conditions to develop a concept of cross-cultural distance learning. It appears that the dominant belief systems of the target countries, e.g. Islam, and the role education plays within these belief systems, have a major impact on teaching and learning styles in these countries. Furthermore, local tutors seem to playa central role in closing the cultural gap between the educational provider and the distance students by culturally 'translating' requirements of the providing institrttion into something familiar for the distance learning students. The way and degree to which local tutors take on this task influences the learning styles of overseas students; the less active tutors are in cultural translation the more students get together and take responsibility for this process themselves. other words, cultural translation is necessary_ 'Western distance learning institutions could support this inevitable translation process in several ways. A first step would be to acknowledge the cultural gap. Secondly, they could support tutors in their translation work. They also could support students in their attempts to do some cultural translation for themselves. Finally, these institutions could do some of the cultural translation work themselves.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available