“One size does not fit all”: Towards cultural adaptivity in learning management systems

Concise paper

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Joy Galaige
Griffith University

Geraldine Torrisi-Steele
Griffith University

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Tuesday 5 December 2017 11.40am – 12pm
Stream 3
Room L206


In recent years, online learning has proliferated higher education and subsequently there are a great many learners seeking to achieve their academic goals by undertaking online courses. Online learning platforms have attracted learners with diverse cultural backgrounds. The cultural diversity evident in online learning environments presents challenges for online course designers as to design for culturally sensitivity or cultural inclusivity. It is well acknowledged that learning is embedded in the socio-cultural context and so culture impacts on cognitive processes, participation, engagement, and collaboration, among other things. However, recent studies reveal that online courses are not designed in a culturally sensitive way.

Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, and Desire2learn among others enable instructional/course designers to easily and quickly design and deliver online courses. However, LMS enable a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the design and delivery of online courses hence lack adaptive features, including those needed for cultural sensitivity.
In the current study, we investigate instructional designers’ perspectives on culturally sensitive learning design features in online learning design.

In a preliminary survey, the instructional designers were asked “how important do you believe it is to consider culture during online course design?” the intent is to come up with an LMS learning design framework for culturally sensitive online learning design. We believe that this will efficiently and effectively enable design of online learning that address cultural diversity to fit learners’ cultural profiles, and subsequently making positive impact on engagement, experience and learning outcomes.

About the authors

Joy Galaige

Joy Galaige is currently a PhD student in the School of Information and Communication Technology at Griffith University, Nathan Campus.
She received her Bachelor of Business Computing and Master of Science in Information Systems from Makerere University in 2010 and 2015 respectively. She worked as a Graduate Assistant at Makerere University Business School from 2010 to 2013 and an Assistant lecturer from 2013 to 2016.

Her research interests include social media for teaching and learning, E-learning design, mobile learning, learning analytics, and Massive Open Online Courses.

Geraldine Torrisi-Steele

Geraldine Torrisi-Steele is a senior lecturer within the School of Information and Communication Technology at Griffith University, where she teaches undergraduate courses within interactive media and information technology degree programs. Her background in secondary science teaching and in the instructional design and development of interactive e-learning, has precipitated a strong interest in learning and teaching, the development of learner metacognition and leadership capacities , the user experience, user interface design, and the application of digital media to learning environments.