Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This dissertation aims to investigate the ways online instructors’ cultural orientation impact online course delivery. Much of the research in this area has involved advocacy for eLearning from a techno-centric perspective. Prior research has not looked at cultural issues affecting eLearning implementation and how those issues affect course delivery and student interaction. Most eLearning research has been conducted in America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa, while Africa has fallen behind. Illuminated by Hofstede’s theory on culture illuminated, the three research questions that motivated this study were: In what ways will instructors’ cultural orientation impact online course delivery through power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism, instructor/student interaction, and students’ holistic experiences? What perceptions do faculty have about cultural differences that exist between them and students? What issues have faculty experienced in their online teaching concerning cultural differences?

The study used a two-phase explanatory sequential mixed methods design. The study also used a multi-level sampling technique was used, and 1430 online students from four Sub- Saharan Africa online institutions completed the survey. A follow-up one-on-one interview was conducted with nine online instructors from the same institutions as the students. Instructors were from three different cultural orientations. The study used SPSS to run the statistical analysis with quantitative data, while content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Results showed that students enjoyed positive holistic experiences; however, results also showed that there were differences across the three categories of participating instructors. Some of the cultural issues that instructors perceived due to cultural differences were language barriers,

intentionality, technology acceptance, cultural sensitivity, multiple perspectives, and intercultural competencies.

Date

5-18-2021

Committee Chair

MacGregor, Susan K.

Available for download on Sunday, May 14, 2028

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