With the expansion of global telecommunication networks and the worldwide demand for higher education, distance education has the potential to reach out internationally to enhance learning for diverse learners and increase intercultural awareness and communication. By definition, distance education is borderless (Latchem, 2005), although differences in sociocultural contexts, values and expectations of diverse educational systems and learners may prove to be its greatest challenge (Hanna, 2000). While distance education programs proclaim an international focus with international content and learners, instructional design and methods frequently carry Eurocentric Western bias. Distance educators need to be sensitive to social, cultural and educational differences, cultural assumptions embedded in courses, and “the imposition of cultural values and practices” (Latchem, 2005, p. 189).
International Handbook of Distance Education
Distance education, social diversity, cultural diversity
Gunawardena, C. N., & LaPointe, D. (2008). Social and cultural diversity in distance education. In T. Evans, M. Haughey, & D. Murphy (Eds.), International handbook of distance education (pp. 51-70). Bingley, UK: Emerald.
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