Cross-cultural challenges in web-based instruction

Bolanle A. Olaniran, Natasha B. Rodriguez, Indi M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Web Based Instruction (WBI) possesses great potential for delivering e-learning solutions into Lower Economically Disadvantaged Countries (LEDCs) and organizations with virtual networks of employees spread across the globe. However, these e-learning solutions are not without cross-cultural challenges. In order to adequately utilize these resources, it is imperative that developers and organizations understand how to address differences in norms, preferences and values of culturally diverse individuals when designing WBI. When instruction does not effectively address student needs, users can be distracted, or even discouraged, from completing instruction and quite possibly reject the technology through which the instruction is delivered. The purpose of this paper is to present an examination of cross cultural challenges in implementing WBI, through a discussion of Hofstede's (1980) cultural dimensions, cultural technology perceptions, language barriers and user needs. The paper concludes with a discussion the implications of WBI and future trends in WBI design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-465
Number of pages18
JournalKnowledge Management and E-Learning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Individualism
  • Masculinity
  • Power Distance
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Web-Based Instruction


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