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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

International eLearning Usage Pattern Differences

Saw CBT/WBT - who likes it ? where the author states:
In Europe and USA many of our on-line students seem to take courses outside work hours. But they do it in short bursts of activity.

In Asia (and particularly Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia) we note that students do much longer periods of study in one session, but mostly during work hours. The same is true in Africa.

While usage patterns vary quite significantly based on the individual and the content, I've seen similar general patterns.

The author then asks:
Why is this the case? Is it that Anglo-American employers just give minimal learning time on-the-job? Or is it that Asia/African employees are more hungry for technical learning?

I would be curious what people believe on this topic. Certainly people are pressed for time. But I've always believed that a big part of this are cultural learning differences that change the expectation of how learning will be done. Again, as a sweeping generalization with lots of individual differences, students from Asian countries are much more deferential to the instructor and diligent in their studies than their American counterparts who are likely to challenge the instructor and find every angle to reduce their effort.

These differences appear to carry through to eLearning.

4 comments:

Karyn Romeis said...

Many Asian and African countries follow behaviourist learning approaches, which imho explains the longer sessions.

Perhaps the occurrence at work is due to a smaller percentage of people in these countries access having to the resources from home.

Karyn Romeis said...

Access having? Good grief: Yoda I've become!

Of course I meant having access

Tim Wang said...

This is an interesting question. One think I have noticed is that in many Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea), working over time is a common thing. So, it's kind hard to say learning/training online during work time or not... Another thing needs to be noticed is the online learning business structure, Asian online learning agencies are more "corporately" structured I think...

Tony Karrer said...

Karyn - that's a good point about access to machines/internet.

Tim - also an excellent point about work hours.