Intercultural Competence Development for Open and Distance Learning
For open and distance learning mediated through technology, research has shown that cultural differences persist in the online learning environment and may have negative effects on learning (Uzuner, 2009; Liu, Liu, Lee & Magjuka, 2010). Many researchers and practitioners have called for interculturalization and internationalization of teaching that involves faculty and students gaining intercultural awareness and intercultural competence to tackle the challenges (Leask, 2013; Teeken, 2003). The hope is that such a process of internationalization and interculturalization will lead to culturally inclusive instructional design and teaching. This paper explores, from a practical standpoint, ways intercultural competence can be incorporated into open and distance learning. This is necessary because many of the good practices regarding intercultural competence development in the literature have focused on traditional face-to-face programs. However, open and distance learning, by its nature, is a cross cultural endeavour with an added complexity of technologymediated human interaction. Intercultural competence in this context is just as important as the face-to-face counterparts. We will further provide a framework to examine the issue and make recommendations for meeting some of the challenges in this area. In short, we advocate a deep and experiential approach to intercultural competence development for faculty and students at open and distance learning institutions. // Paper ID 67
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