Does Culture Matter in TEL?

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Adaptive learning technologies respond to the diversity of learners by tailoring learning experiences to individuals’ goals, knowledge, learning approach, etc. Learning systems that adapt to a learner’s culture are rather rare, although cultural background constitutes an important variable associated with differences in learning behaviour and strategies. Cultural information of a learner could therefore be used to realise adaptation to a range of learning variables. We have conducted an investigation with medical students to find out about cultural variations with respect to learners’ general learning approach and their behaviour in and experience of a concrete TEL environment. The results obtained from 95 students provide initial data informing the development of culturally aware adaptation approaches for learning technologies

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Does Culture Matter in TEL?

  1. 1. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 Does Culture Matter in TEL? A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Christina M. Steiner1, Gudrun Wesiak1, Adam Moore2, Declan Dagger3, Owen Conlan2 & Dietrich Albert1 1 Knowledge Technologies Institute, Graz University of Tecnology, Austria 2 School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland 3 EmpowerTheUser, Dublin, Ireland 8th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL) 17-21 September 2013, Paphos, Cyprus CulTEL – Worlkshop on Culturally aware Technology Enhanced Learning
  2. 2. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 Overview 1) Intro • ImREAL • CulTEL/CATS 2) Cultural Variations in Learning 3) Empirical Investigation 4) Discussion and Outlook
  3. 3. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 1) Intro - ImREAL project - Immersive Reflective Experience-based Adaptive Learning
  4. 4. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 1) Intro - ImREAL project - Immersive Reflective Experience-based Adaptive Learning
  5. 5. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 1) Intro - ImREAL services - Real-world activity modelling - Enriched User Modelling - Affective Metacognitive Scaffolding - Developed and trialled in the domain of interpersonal communication
  6. 6. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 1) Intro - Culturally Aware Tutoring/Technology-Enhanced Learning - Approaches of incorporating cultural dimension: 1. Convey intercultural competence 2. Build cultural profile of learners and adapt to it  Adaptation to cultural competence  Adaptation to characteristics with cultural variations
  7. 7. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 2) Cultural Variations in Learning - Cultural regularities in learning strategies and behaviour as a potential basis for adaptation - Relevance of skills on self-regulated learning (SRL) and metacognition - Reducing cold-start problem - Measuring culture Explicit measurement: - Country of birth, country of residence - Scales on cultural dimensions Implicit measurement: - Exploiting digital traces - Monitoring by learning technology
  8. 8. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 2) Cultural Variations in Learning - Relationship between culture and learning - Influence of culture on - Use of metacognitive strategies - Perception of effective strategies - Cultural variations in learning interlinked with socio-cultural factors - Educational resources are imbued by cultural nuances
  9. 9. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 2) Cultural Variations in Learning - Research questions Is learners’ cultural background relevant for variations in metacognitive competence and learning strategies? Are there differences in the use of social media and in trust and privacy concerns depending on learners’ cultural background?
  10. 10. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 3) Empirical Investigation - Part of a larger study on a training simulator for medical interviews - ETU RolePlay Simulation Platform
  11. 11. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 3) Empirical Investigation - Participants: - 95 medical students (M=22.8 years) - Country of residence: Ireland - Country of birth: 16 countries, 4 continents - 65 Europe - 14 North-Americans - 13 Asians - 3 Africans Asien or African
  12. 12. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 3) Empirical Investigation - Instruments and Procedure Cohort characterisation • Demography • Metacognitive Awareness Inventory Simulation • Interaction data • Usage (time, dialogues) • Score predictions • Reflections Post-simulation • Motivation • Perception of thinking prompts
  13. 13. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 3) Empirical Investigation - Results: Metacognition and Learning
  14. 14. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 3) Empirical Investigation - Results: Metacognition and Learning
  15. 15. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 3) Empirical Investigation - Results: Metacognition and Learning Score predictions:  Lowest by Europeans  Eur < N-Am
  16. 16. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 3) Empirical Investigation - Results: Metacognition and Learning No differences in - Performance in simulation - Duration/dialogues - Motivation Score predictions:  Lowest by Europeans  Eur < N-Am
  17. 17. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 3) Empirical Investigation - Results: Social Networks - Facebook, Twitter
  18. 18. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 4) Discussion & Outlook - Some cultural variations on metacognition and SRL were identified - Differences in attitudes towards sharing social web information - Initial indications for potentially relevant aspects for personalising learning - Adaptation of types of and triggers for metacognitive prompts - Supporting acceptance and trust of user model enrichment
  19. 19. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 4) Discussion & Outlook - Avoid overgeneralisation and oversimplified adaptation! - Culture as usual but changeable way of doing things - Two-step approach towards adapting pedagogical strategies and resources - Initial cultural information to initiate adaptation - Continuous monitoring process
  20. 20. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 4) Discussion & Outlook - Study results inspire future studies - More balanced sample - Finer-grained analyses: - Countries - Socio-cultural aspects
  21. 21. A Case Study on Cultural Variations in Learning Paphos, Cyprus– 17th September 2013 Contact: Christina Steiner Cognitive Science Section Knowledge Technologies Institute Graz University of Technology, Austria christina.steiner@tugraz.at

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