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Cultural Dimensions of Multimedia Design for Instruction

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Title: Cultural Dimensions of Multimedia Design for Instruction


1
Cultural Dimensions of Multimedia Design for
Instruction
  • NECC Conference
  • June 30, 2003
  • Seattle, WA
  • Davina Pruitt-Mentle
  • Educational Technology Outreach
  • http//www.edtechoutreach.umd.edu/

2
What does culture have to do with education?
3
Definitions of Culture
  • Many definitions of culture and few agree as to
    the exact definition
  • RE multicultural interface/multimedia design
  • Culture stands for the way of life of a people,
    the sum of their learned behavioral patterns,
    attitudes and material things (Edward Hall, 1959,
    The Silent Language)
  • Culture is the collective programming of the
    mind, which distinguishes the members of one
    human group from another (Hofstede, 1980).

4
What Does Culture Have To Do With Education
Related to Technology Design and Utilization?
  • What are the consequences for students from
    different cultures working with US educational
    software?

5
Cultural Expectations
  • The different backgrounds of people may cause
    them to have different expectations and attitudes
    towards different interfaces. The different
    expectations affect the way they learn to use and
    understand the technology.

6
Research
  • Research indicated that culture does influence
    interface acceptance (Evers and Day, 1997)
  • Acceptance of interfaces was related to the
    users cultural background and users from
    different cultures were found to not only have
    different preferences in interface design but
    also use different processes of acceptance (Evers
    and Day, 1997 Choong and Salvendy, 1998
    Griffith, 1998)
  • Design preferences that were especially related
    to culture were colors, menus, input devices,
    sounds and multimedia.
  • Research indicated differences in acceptance,
    anxiety and attitudes toward computer use (Collis
    and Williams, 1987 Marcoulides and Wang, 1991
    Igbaria, 1996 Weil and Rosen, 1994 Allwood and
    Wang, 1990 Omar, 1992 Sensales and Greenfield,
    1995 Makrakis, 1992 Hall, 1959)

7
Drawing from International Business Cultural
Miscues
  • When Coca-Cola first went to China and wrote
    their name phonetically using Kanji, the
    characters spelt out bite the wax tadpole.
    Coco, a perfume by Channel, is the word crap in
    Portuguese. Dogs are thought of the lowest form
    of life in some cultures. In the Middle East,
    calling somebody a dog can be a powerful insult.
    This is also true in countries such as Spain and
    Portugal. Having the image of a dog on the
    computer screen is part of the interface (Apple
    moof, PowerPoint dog, Word help icon) would not
    be advised for those markets (Fernandes, 1996)

8
Business Cultural Models
  • Globalization
  • Internalization
  • Localization
  • Technical Localization
  • National Localization
  • Cultural Localization

Jacob Nielson (1994)
9
Drawing from International Business Cultural
Miscues
  • Globalization
  • Product is neutral
  • One size fits all
  • Removing all culturally specific features from
    the software
  • Changes at the interface level--not functionality
  • Internationalization
  • Same as globalization
  • But culture limited to national boundaries
  • e.g., Globalization Hispanic
    Internationalization Mexico, El Salvador
  • Culture is not bounded by nations
  • One culture in many nations
  • One nation with many cultures

Fernandes.Global Interface Design. 1995
10
National Localization
  • The new product is able to fully support all
    written spoken language, punctuation, and
    formats and to solve the particular needs
    associated with a given group.
  • Translating text, date, time, number formats
    other aspects such as images, symbols, icons, and
    pictures are localized

11
Cultural Localization
  • Targets other issues such as appeal, correctness,
    quality and taste
  • Modifies flow of information and functionality
  • Produces designs that are appropriate for a
    culture's values , tastes and history
  • Attractive
  • No undesired messages
  • Intuitive

12
Localization in US Educational Arena
  • Even though many of our students come from
    different countries (increasing immigrant
    population) few educational resources redesign
    their products to relate to this particular
    population

13
US Bias
  • Educational software used in the US has been
    designed using real world examples around North
    American culture and therefore many consider to
    cultural bias

14
Cultural Dimensions to Multimedia
  • Making learning resources more accessible and
    flexible to a wide range of learners is a major
    concern of educators today.
  • In order to do this- ...educators must recognize
    that their ways are ways that are usually based
    on values and principles that may differ then
    others. And others ways are just as important.
    Brislin Yoshida (1994) call this process
    ethnorelative

15
The way to deal with diversity is not to deny it
or ignore it, but to learn about differences so
they dont impair communication
16
The first step in effective intercultural
communication is acceptance of diversity
  • Examine your own values
  • Examine values of others
  • Look at the implications of these values for
    education
  • Determine where the differences lie
  • Determine how to best overcome the differences

17
Cross-Cultural Cross Wiring
  • Language
  • spoken
  • written
  • symbols
  • Non-verbal communication
  • body
  • facial expression
  • gestures
  • Symbols
  • company logos
  • religious images
  • flags

18
Spoken Written Language
  • All languages have a number of forms/styles and
    different registers for different types of
    situations
  • Diglossia/multiglossia-custom of using different
    languages for different purposes (Fishman, 1971a)
  • Spanish ? English
  • formal ? informal
  • colloquial ? regular
  • Different dialect/ different sub-cultures
  • American vs. English (British)
  • Northern vs. Southern vs. Cajun vs. street

19
Spoken Written Language Language Reflects
Environment
  • Amazon area - no word for snow
  • Americans - snow, powder snow, sleet, slush,
    blizzard, ice
  • In Northern Germany, ein Glas Weisswein bitte
    (a glass of white wine, please) or specify
    Moselwein or Rheinwein
  • In Southwest Germany- expected to specify type of
    wine, vineyard and year

20
Spoken and Written Language We Translate
Concepts That Fit Our Priorities
  • Navajo do not have a word for late (time is
    relative)
  • Mandarin Chinese, one word (qing) represents
    various hues of blue and green
  • Americans tomorrow means midnight to midnight
  • Spanish-speaking mañana means in the future
  • Chinese do not have a word for communication
  • letter exchange
  • transportation traffic
  • Administration (educational setting)
  • American ? superintendent/ dean
  • French ? upper-level clerical staff

21
Written Communication
  • Understand Patterns of Organization
  • East Asian cultures organize material based on
    relationships rather than on linear progression
  • Canadians like to have recommendations at the
    beginning of a report

22
Written Communication Dates
  • American - May 6, 2010 or 05/06/2010
  • German - 6. Mai 2010 or 6.5. 2010
  • International (increasing usage) 2010 May, 6 or
    2010, 05, 06

23
Spoken and Written Language High-Context vs.
Low-Context
  • Edward Hall, distinguished cultures on the basis
    of the role of context in communication
  • High-Context - less words more other clues (ex.
    Japan)
  • Low-Context - words, words, words (ex. German
    Swiss)
  • US middle of the Low-context range

24
High - Context
  • View word-level-only messages as unsophisticated,
    childish, and rude
  • Prefer-allusion to classical texts, parables and
    proverbs, understatements and antiphraxis (saying
    something in terms of what it is not) Asian
    thought pattern - negative space
  • I have some small experience in that-
    world-famous mathematicians life work

25
Spoken Language Why is this important for
educators regarding multimedia?
  • Verbal (audio) now part of multimedia
  • Like Assistive technology - can choose
    gender/dialect
  • Translator difficulties
  • order of words varies in different languages
  • translation can not interpret formal vs.. informal

26
Non-Verbal Communication
  • Body
  • Facial Expression
  • Gestures

27
Non-Verbal Body Language
  • Rules regarding standing and position distance
  • Face-on for Arabs
  • 45 degree angle for Anglo-Saxons
  • Side-to-side for Chinese

28
Non-Verbal Communication
  • Smiling in Japan is strongly associated with
    nervousness, social discomfort, or sorrow

29
Non-Verbal Body Language
  • In Buddhist Thailand never cross legs
  • The sole of the foot is the furthest part from
    heaven and the least sacred. To show the bottom
    of the foot to someone is to show disrespect

30
Non-Verbal Communication
  • In Asian and Middle-eastern cultures it is
    appropriate for the same sex to walk hand in hand
    but not the opposite sex

31
Symbols/Icons
32
Symbols/Icons
33
Symbols
  • China, death is not mentioned even by homonyms
    (words that sound like other words)
  • El Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a
    fiesta with deep meaning to Mexicans

34
Symbols Hand Gestures emblems
  • V-for victory in US is obscene in some European
    countries

35
Symbols, Idioms and Metaphors
  • Americans use militaristic origin terminology
  • Many cultures choose a more cooperative approach

36
Symbols, Idioms and Metaphors
  • Sports have provided U.S. with numerous metaphors
  • Many cultures do not understand baseball/football
    terms like
  • Bases are loaded
  • Got to first base
  • Out in left field
  • Third down, nine to go

37
Hofstedes Dimensions of Culture
  • Dutch cultural anthropologist
  • 1978-1983
  • Rated 53 countries
  • Identified 5 cultural dimensions
  • Rated on indices for each dimension
  • Normalized to values (0 to 100)

38
Hofstedes Five Dimensions
  • Power Distance
  • Individualism vs. Collectivism
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Long- vs. Short-Term Time Orientation

39
Power Distance
  • High Power Distance cultures believe that the
    more powerful people must be deferred to and not
    argued with, especially in public
  • Based on gender, age, seniority, position
  • Low Power Distance cultures believe ideas/people
    are assumed to be equal

40
Power Distance
http//www.brainpop.com/
  • High Power

http//www.pbs.org/
41
Power Distance
http//www.education-world.com/index.shtml
  • Lower Power

http//www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/index.h
tm
42
Individualism vs. Collectivism
http//www.gowcsd.com/master/ghs/math/furman/linsy
stem/call_me.htm
  • Individualist WebQuests

http//www.tctc.org/schoolinfo/CLUEm/Chartsandgrap
hs.htm
43
Individualism vs. Collectivism
http//www.softcom.net/users/dteach/beautiful/
  • Collectivist WebQuests

http//u2.lvcm.com/esullivan/webquest.html
44
Masculinity vs. Femininity
  • Masculine roles
  • assertiveness
  • competition
  • toughness
  • Feminine roles
  • home and children
  • people
  • family

45
Masculinity vs. Femininity
http//www.amaisd.org/nheights/zennadi__james_pro
ject.htm
http//liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/academy/history/VonBr
aun/SpaceAge.html
  • High masculinity
  • WebQuests/Games

http//www.cartoonnetwork.com/play/index.html
46
Masculinity vs. Femininity
http//projects.edtech.sandi.net/mission/iss/
  • Femininity
  • WebQuests/Games

http//64.70.189.55/games/d_fashion.shtml
47
Uncertainty Avoidance
  • The extent to which uncertainty and ambiguity are
    tolerated

48
High Uncertainty Avoidance
http//www.mjh.isd194.k12.mn.us/mwalker/
http//webquest.sdsu.edu /
http//www.dmrtc.net/embrys/aesindex.htm
49
Low Uncertainty Avoidance
http//www.powayschools.com/projects/dolly/
http//www.education-world.com/index.shtml
http//school.discovery.com/schrockguide/
50
Conclusions
  • Become familiar with your own values
  • Explore and recognize the values of others
  • Understand the implications of these values for
    education
  • Determine where the differences lie
  • Determine how to best overcome the differences
  • Expose students to diverse resources
  • Choose diverse examples
  • Examine cultures within your school
  • Consider/double check your design strategies

51
Different students/cultures require different
technology/web designs and strategies for optimal
learning
52
Contact Information
  • Davina Pruitt-Mentle
  • Director, Educational Technology Outreach
  • College of Education
  • University of Maryland
  • 2127 Tawes
  • College Park, MD 20742
  • (301) 405-8202
  • dp151_at_umail.umd.edu
  • Presentation available at
  • http//www.edtechoutreach.umd.edu/conferences.html
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