This may be of interest for reference to the discourse on cultural awareness and differences in MOOCs
1. Cooperman said the latest round of MOOC enthusiasm has prompted concern because of the top-down nature of the material being offered on MOOCs by professors from elite Western universities.
2. But, in China, Gunawardena found students don’t necessarily openly argue with each other based on points of view. They build knowledge based on collaboration. What effect will this have on the uptake of Western-made courseware?
There are political and cultural reasons behind the use or non-use of MOOCs in developing countries – such as those in China and Africa. Students coming from another cultural background such as China would have different needs, and there could be significant language barriers since their mother tongue is Chinese (Mandarin). Besides, the pedagogy adopted in mainstream China tends to follow the Confucius system – with a strong didactic teaching approach.
Here is a video that shows some differences in views between American and Chinese students (reflective of the western and eastern cultures to some extent).
Relating to cultural awareness, there has been some research studies done, and even a cultural intelligence has been identified. I have attended a cultural awareness training course but found that most of the researches done might have been over-generalized and “stereo-typed”. As Debbie said the learning outcome may be about cultural awareness rather than learning of the subject matter, and some people coming from another culture may easily be misunderstood, misinterpreted or incorrectly judged due to the differences in their gestures, way of connection and communication, and their customs or cultures. Similarly, MOOCs coming from a western culture may have a strong “flavor” of western style of living and cultural values, especially in areas like literature, politics, arts and dancing, and this could be significantly different from those of the eastern cultures. Conflicts in values or cultures may not be obvious, but could hinder the education and learning process. The shadows of neo-liberalism, imposed or biased values of certain beliefs, imperialism and the associated dominance with powers and authority, might be perceived by participants coming from a different culture to the west.
Here is a paper on cultural intelligence (CI).
Some more research papers here, here and here.
It may be interesting for us to have a Multicultural Awareness and Intelligence MOOCs.
How about the design and development of a MOOC on Multicultural Awareness and Intelligence? Who are the experts in this area?
Who would be interested in such a MOOC?
Thanks for visit too.