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The impact of Chinese culture in online learning: Chinese tertiary students’ perceptions

This thesis looks at Chinese students' understanding of online learning, investigates how culture impact on students online learning attitude, behaviour, and achievement, and seeks their recommendations for eLeaming and eTeaching guidelines and/or professional development. This study used a qualitative framework and took place over a year period. The research involved the methods of email surveys and interviews. The literature identifies many factors including the online learning and teaching pedagogy, aspects of Chinese culture, the implications for online Chinese students' learning, and Chinese students learning in another country. This review helps to identity some research findings of this research. This finding of this research identified participants' experience and their perceptions of learning online, explored their beliefs about Chinese cultural impact on their online learning, and sought their recommendations to eTeachers and other Chinese students about eTeaching and eLearning. In the light of literature, this research found that participants had different opinions about the impact of Chinese culture on their online learning. Participants had seen both positive and negative impacts on their online learning. The acknowledgment of individuals' differences and willingness of adapting to a new culture was viewed as a reason why some participants thought the cultural impact varied with individuals and could not be generalized. The invisibility of culture was also explained why some participants disagreed with the cultural impact. Participants' perceptions on the impact of Chinese culture on their online learning would help eTeachers to understand the learning difficulties for Chinese students to study online, and in what ways the Chinese culture influences on their online learning. The recommendations participants made to eTeachers were related to the effective eTeaching pedagogy such as to give timely feedback and more encouragements to students, to cater for students' different needs and interests by selecting some course contents or examples relevant to Chinese students' backgrounds. Participants suggested eTeachers to arrange the group meeting beside the course study, and to give more introductions about what online learning was before the online course started. Based on the consideration of the English language difficulties for Chinese students and some negative impacts from Chinese culture, participants made recommendations to other Chinese students such as to be willing to share ideas, to speak out their thoughts and to be active in asking for assistance, and to find more information before they chose online learning. Participants' those recommendations could help eTeachers to make some changes of eTeaching pedagogy and learn about Chinese students' culture in order to cater for Chinese students' interests and needs. Therefore, these recommendations could be helpful for eLearning and eTeaching guidelines and/or professional development on supporting Chinese students learning online both in New Zealand and China. This study raised some concerns about possible future research such as how to maximise librarian's assistance in online course, and in what ways both Chinese students' written and spoken English language could be improved through learning online.
Type of thesis
Cong, Y. (2008). The impact of Chinese culture in online learning: Chinese tertiary students’ perceptions (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8642
University of Waikato
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