The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

What efforts have teachers made to enhance online learning across cultures in the digital age? -A synthesis analysis based on activity theory combined with pedagogy

Wenting Sun, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany)

Qihui Chen, Tongji University (China)

Jiangyue Liu, Suzhou University (China)


Diverse cultural backgrounds influence the interaction between instructors and learners in digitalized or online learning environments. In terms of Information and communication technologies as artifacts, what efforts teachers have done to reduce the cultural barriers in digitalized or online learning environments are still under research. Due to the potential to analyze the interaction between different perspectives, activity theory was integrated into this article to systematically analyze what pedagogical variables have been considered in the cross-culture online courses. Findings were that out of surprise, no complete, cultural frameworks were considered in pedagogical strategies, computer-supported online collaborative learning was dominant but differences in task design and group discussion organization, learning management systems, and social media were common tools, and learning objectives and outcomes mainly were awareness of the cultural differences, communication skills, problem-solving skills. And teachers preferred qualitative assessment of formative learning performances, the technical staff was considered as other stakeholders, and disciples included communication skills development, foreign language learning, and product design courses in higher education. Suggestions are that the use of learning analytics has the potential to reduce cultural barriers but requires high standards of learning space designing skills for instructors and self-regulation skills for students.


Keywords: cross-culture online learning, activity theories, pedagogies, learning analytics, teachers’ effort, computer-supported collaborative learning

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