Usage of cultural assimilator for tutor “cultural intelligence” improvement

Cultural assimilator for tutors represents situation modelling, in which interaction of two individuals with different cultural backgrounds is attended by four behavior interpretation. The description of situations aims to identify the differences between cultures, in our case, educational cultures. During the situation selection special aspects of student and tutor behavior, known in cross-cultural multimedia didactics, will be considered.

We propose the following structure of assimilator:

  1. Ergonomic part. The creation of effective educational resource, focused on multicultural audience, involves such components as: the resource navigation, the accessibility of information and its structure, appropriate ergonomic design, the degree of user involvement, the use (specificity) of various multimedia materials, user and motivational support.
  2. Content specification unit. Representatives of different cultural groups have different content preferences in structure and quality. For example, representatives of cultures with a high index of individualism prefer unique content, so they often add new information and edit the content. Representatives of cultures with a high index of collectivism will rather relay the existing content instead of creating a new one.
  3. Discursive part. It’s important to know main national discursive models; communication failures could be caused by various discursive strategies of a culture, discrepancy between practical purposes of the author and information recipient, the difference in the volume and substance of their lexicon, mismatch of conceptual elements in the linguistic picture of the world.
  4. Methodical unit. According to cultural-cognitive specificity educational information is often presented ambiguously – for example, there are linear and nonlinear learning methods, heuristic and reproductive forms, based on cultural and cognitive specifics.
  5. Communicative unit. G. Hofstede’s dimensions have great impact on communication. For example, if student is a representative of culture with a lower value of power distance index than tutor, he would expect from tutor informal relationship, including an exchange of views and mistakes discussion, to which the teacher won’t be ready. The inhabitants of the countries with a high index of uncertainty avoidance do not accept ambiguous situations and tend to avoid them if it’s possible. Ambiguity and inconstancy are treated as undesirable phenomena. Representatives of these cultures tend to give the preference over structured, routine and even bureaucratic way of task performance. Using of interactive educational forms in cultures with high power distance should be controlled over the process. On the contrary, cultures with low power distance succeeded in such learning format practice. In the course of teamwork and joint cases solution representatives of cultures with a high index of individualism need competition spirit, an ability to express their opinions and an opportunity to make independent decisions. By contrast representatives of collectivist cultures require quiet atmosphere and qualitative technical means for group interaction.

It’s quite difficult to develop an effective cultural assimilator. We will describe the basic steps required to develop cultural assimilator.

  • The Selection of the Situations

It is desirable to select materials in such a way that the most significant and peculiar divisions between tutors and students as representatives of different cultures will be described in culture assimilator. In the selection of situations the following characteristics should be considered: stereotypes of both cultures, cognitive features, discursive features, specific of work with information, special aspects of communication with the tutor and with each other, etc. It is important to organize the process so that the situations will be supplemented not only by the experts and tutors, but learners.

  • The Creation of the Incidents

Incidents are constructed as follows: when the necessary information has been taken from selected conflict situations, it is

examined and adjusted by a number of experts and then specific incidents being formulated.

  • The Determination of Attributions

The determination of attributions represents collection of questions about person behavior in particular situation, emotional and cognitive reactions, etc.

  • The Selection of Attributions

At this stage, it is necessary to pick up a few alternative explanations — attributions. Interpretation of human behavior proceeds as

follows: experts suggest three possible responses, that, although believable to culture outsider, do not adequately explain the incident. And one response with culturally accurate explanation for the incident.

  • Complete Set of «Cultural Assimilator»

Each situation is usually prescribed on several pages. There is one page for description and one for the question with four answer choices. We decided to use Wiki PLatform for placement of developed cultural assimilator

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