Bozkurt, A., & Aydın, İ. E. (2018). Cultural diversity and its implications in online networked learning spaces. In Supporting multiculturalism in open and distance learning spaces (pp. 56-81). IGI Global.
Summary. The purpose of this article was to explore the way that different cultural dimensions impact the online learning environment. One of the findings related to the heightened prevalence of interactivity among individuals who live in Western-based cultures and who primarily speak English. The author’s of this article argue that diversity in an online environment is both a challenge and an opportunity for learners and educators. Due to the effects of high and low-context cultures in social environments, online learning environments, that contain social aspects, can differ greatly among participants from varying cultures. The authors also examined MOOC’s as they have very diverse populations of students. Bozkhurt and Aydin (2018) concluded that the use of Universal Instructional Design (UID) would be key in ensuring online learning environments are inclusive and respectful towards diverse student populations.
Evaluation. The article itself is clear and direct in that the two main questions posed by the authors is addressed in their research. However, their findings were anything but earth-shattering in that I was able to guess what the results may be before I actually read them. As stated earlier, the authors found that populations who spoke English where participating the most in online social environments, and those who had a Westernized-culture were also more likely to participate. The author’s study provided nice statistics and graphics for the reader, but I would have liked to see more qualitative research being done on why these specific populations were more likely to participate in these online environments.
Application. As I continue to delve deeper into instructional design and technology and how to apply new concepts to creating diverse spaces, I am noticing there is not much research available. This article was published in 2018, and was one of very few matches to various searches I performed on online learning and cultural diversity. This indicates to me that there is a serious gap in this research which makes me more determined to focus my research, within this program, on effective design strategies and technologies that allow for culturally sensitive and empathetic teaching, specifically for the Native American community within central Michigan.