Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Korean student's online learning preferences and issues: Cultural sensitivity for Western course designers
by Washburn, Earlene, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University, 2012, 260; 3513077
Abstract (Summary)

Scope and Method of Study: While online courses offer educational solutions, they are not academically suited for everyone. International students find distractions in online courses constructed with American philosophy, epistemology, values, and cultures as compared to experiences in their home country. Learner's culture, value system, learning preferences, and philosophies should be considered when designing online courses with consideration for how culture influences students' learning. Henderson's Multiple Cultural Model (1996) was the theoretical framework used to identify online learning preferences that Korean students recognize as web-based course distractions.

This study used descriptive methodology in a mixed-method design, combining demographic and learning preferences through quantitative data along with qualitative data obtained from personal interviews. A web-based, confidential survey questionnaire provided quantitative data for the descriptive study that used 65 demographic, open-ended and force-choice questions and 3 open-ended questions. The instrument was web-based so it was accessible to students from any location. Volunteering students were purposefully selected for face-to-face qualitative interviews based on their points of view, opinions, and online experiences. Variables were Korean culture (independent) and learning preferences (dependent).

Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis provided the major findings. The demographic profile of the population was reflected via a five-point Likert-type rating scale, measuring learning preferences by indicating measures of response by; 1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=no preference, 4=agree, and 5=strongly agree. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data expressed online learning experiences offered by Korean students.

Findings and Conclusions: Koreans' educational preferences are very traditional teacher-centered but are slowly changing to a more Americanized educational system. While Koreans like the new flexible, more Americanized educational process, they still feel a strong commitment to the former/traditional Korean cultural educational process. While technical issues, complications with high-speed Internet, and the lack of additional learning resources were very highly rated problems; the lack of communications was equally a problem. Students wanted/needed greater communications with their professor, both on a personal level and in the classroom. They wanted to be able to ask questions, obtain answers immediately, have a personal relationship with their professor, and engage with the professor for reassurance and a greater understanding. They hold the professor in highest esteem with greatest respect to guide the learning.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ausburn, Lynna, Ausburn, Floyd, McCharen, Belinda, Song, Ji Hoon
Commitee: Ausburn, Floyd B., Kutz, Mary, McCharen, Belinda, Song, Ji Hoon
School: Oklahoma State University
Department: Education (all programs)
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-A 73/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Multicultural Education, School administration, Educational psychology, Curriculum development
Keywords: Curriculum development, Korea, Learning preferences, Multi-cultural, Online course construction, Online learning, South Korea
Publication Number: 3513077
ISBN: 9781267426772
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