The Future of Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Course Design for Culturally Diverse Learners

Gülten Kartal, Anadolu University (Turkey)

Elif Toprak, Open Education Faculty (Turkey)

Evrim Genç Kumtepe, Anadolu University (Turkey)


In the information age, knowledge and technology develop at a great pace and this changes all existing paradigms including those of field of education. The notion of an open society based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) points to the fact that the information society has been transformed into a network society. Globalisation of education becomes more widespread in conjunction with increasing number of distance education and e-learning practices in the recent years. It’s clear that culturally diverse learners have different interest, expectation and needs regarding the distance learning environments. Courses need to be designed taking account of cultural diversity in order to optimize “self-learning” via these environments. It can be argued that instructional designs that take global and local cultural diversity into account, lead more efficiently to learning outcomes and help to solve the problems that occur at the global level.  Through these lenses, finding solutions via different cultural perspectives, developing instructional programs and preparing open course materials accordingly is a must. This presentation concentrates on a case from Anadolu University for studying the culturally sensitive instructional design principles for distance education, in the light of theories from leading researchers in the field. The research findings about the feedback from students in Azerbaijan about the learning and communication media used in associate and bachelor degree programs point to valuable inferences. 

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