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A cross-cultural study of online collaborative learning

Chang Zhu (UGent) , Martin Valcke (UGent) and Tammy Schellens (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is (1) to examine whether there is a cultural gap in student perceptions of online collaborative learning, and (2) to investigate to what extent student perceptions, motivation, and learning strategies change over time due to the actual involvement in a collaborative e-learning environment. Design/methodology/approach - A parallel e-learning environment for a first-year university course was implemented for a Flemish group (n = 217) at Ghent University and a Chinese group (n = 165) at Beijing Normal University. Student perceptions of the online collaborative learning environment and their motivation and learning strategies before and after the e-learning experience were measured. Findings - The findings show that the Flemish group perceived the online collaborative learning environment more positively compared to the Chinese group. However, Chinese students’ motivation and learning strategies changed significantly towards a way that is more in line with a social-constructivist learning approach after the online collaborative learning experience. Practical implications - The current results indicate that students from different cultural contexts perceive online collaborative learning environments differently. Specific cultural adaptations in e-learning design could be considered when an e-learning environment is to be implemented cross-culturally. Originality/value - This study can help both Chinese and Western instructors to become aware of different perceptions of online collaborative learning and to be more supportive to the students.

Citation

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Chicago
Zhu, Chang, Martin Valcke, and Tammy Schellens. 2009. “A Cross-cultural Study of Online Collaborative Learning.” Multicultural Education & Technology Journal 3 (1): 33–46.
APA
Zhu, Chang, Valcke, M., & Schellens, T. (2009). A cross-cultural study of online collaborative learning. MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, 3(1), 33–46.
Vancouver
1.
Zhu C, Valcke M, Schellens T. A cross-cultural study of online collaborative learning. MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY JOURNAL. 2009;3(1):33–46.
MLA
Zhu, Chang, Martin Valcke, and Tammy Schellens. “A Cross-cultural Study of Online Collaborative Learning.” MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY JOURNAL 3.1 (2009): 33–46. Print.
@article{525072,
  abstract     = {Purpose - The purpose of this paper is (1) to examine whether there is a cultural gap in student perceptions of online collaborative learning, and (2) to investigate to what extent student perceptions, motivation, and learning strategies change over time due to the actual involvement in a collaborative e-learning environment. 
Design/methodology/approach - A parallel e-learning environment for a first-year university course was implemented for a Flemish group (n = 217) at Ghent University and a Chinese group (n = 165) at Beijing Normal University. Student perceptions of the online collaborative learning environment and their motivation and learning strategies before and after the e-learning experience were measured. Findings - The findings show that the Flemish group perceived the online collaborative learning environment more positively compared to the Chinese group. However, Chinese students{\textquoteright} motivation and learning strategies changed significantly towards a way that is more in line with a social-constructivist learning approach after the online collaborative learning experience. Practical implications - The current results indicate that students from different cultural contexts perceive online collaborative learning environments differently. Specific cultural adaptations in e-learning design could be considered when an e-learning environment is to be implemented cross-culturally. 
Originality/value - This study can help both Chinese and Western instructors to become aware of different perceptions of online collaborative learning and to be more supportive to the students.},
  author       = {Zhu, Chang and Valcke, Martin and Schellens, Tammy},
  issn         = {1750-497X},
  journal      = {MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION \& TECHNOLOGY JOURNAL},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {33--46},
  title        = {A cross-cultural study of online collaborative learning},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2009},
}