Recognizing and avoiding intercultural miscommunication in distance education - A study of the experiences of Canadian faculty and Aboriginal nursing students
ABSTRACT Language differences and diverse cultural norms influence the transmission and receipt of information. The online environment provides yet another potential source of miscommunication. Although distance learning has the potential to reach students in cultural groups that have been disenfranchised from traditional higher education settings in the past, intercultural miscommunication is also much more likely to occur through it. There is limited research examining intercultural miscommunication within distance education environments. This article presents the results of a qualitative study that explored the communication experiences of Canadian faculty and Aboriginal students while participating in an online baccalaureate nursing degree program that used various delivery modalities. The microlevel data analysis revealed participants' beliefs and interactions that fostered intercultural miscommunication as well as their recommendations for ensuring respectful and ethically supportive discourses in online courses. The unique and collective influences of intercultural miscommunication on the experiences of faculty and students within the courses are also identified. Instances of ethnocentrism and othering are illustrated, noting the effects that occurred from holding dualistic perspectives of us and them. Lastly, strategies for preventing intercultural miscommunication in online courses are described.
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ABSTRACT: Despite nursing's enthusiastic endorsement of the applicability of qualitative research approaches to answering relevant clinical questions, many nurse researchers have been hesitant to depart from traditional qualitative research methods. While various derivations of phenomenology, grounded theory, and ethnography have been popularized within qualitative nursing research, the methodological principles upon which these approaches are based reflect the foundations and objectives of disciplines whose aims are sometimes quite distinct from nursing's domain of inquiry. Thus, as many nurse researchers have discovered, nursing's unique knowledge mandate may not always be well served by strict adherence to traditional methods as the "gold standard" for qualitative nursing research. The authors present the point of view that a non-categorical description, drawing on principles grounded in nursing's epistemological mandate, may be an appropriate methodological alternative for credible research toward the development of nursing science. They propose a coherent set of strategies for conceptual orientation, sampling, data construction, analysis, and reporting by which nurses can use an interpretive descriptive approach to develop knowledge about human health and illness experience phenomena without sacrificing the theoretical or methodological integrity that the traditional qualitative approaches provide.Research in Nursing & Health 05/1997; 20(2):169-77. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1098-240X(199704)20:23.3.CO;2-B · 1.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper gives an account of themes that emerged from a preliminary analysis of a large corpus of electronic communications in an online, mediated course for intercultural learners. The goals were to test assumptions that electronic communication is internationally standardized, to identify any problematic aspects of such communications, and to construct a framework for the analysis of electronic communications using constructs from intercultural communications theory. We found that cyberspace itself has a culture(s), and is not culture-free. Cultural gaps can exist between individuals, as well as between individuals and the dominant cyberculture, increasing the chances of miscommunication. The lack of elements inherent in face-to-face communication further problematizes intercultural communications online byFirst Monday 04/2002; 7. DOI:10.5210/fm.v7i8.975
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ABSTRACT: In this paper we report findings of a multidisciplinary study of online participation by culturally diverse participants in a distance adult education course offered in Canada and examine in detail three of the study's findings. First, we explore both the historical and cultural origins of "cyberculture values" as manifested in our findings, using the notions of explicit and implicit enforcement of those values and challenging the assumption that cyberspace is a culture free zone. Second, we examine the notion of cultural gaps between participants in the course and the potential consequences for online communication successes and difficulties. Third, the analysis describes variations in participation frequency as a function of broad cultural groupings in our data. We identify the need for additional research, primarily in the form of larger scale comparisons across cultural groups of patterns of participation and interaction, but also in the form of case studies that can be submitted to microanalyses of the form as well as the content of communicator's participation and interaction online.