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|Cultural values and beliefs from an educational perspective in the Arab world
|Proceedings of the Education Research Group of Adelaide (ERGA) conference, 24-25 September 2008, pp.1-12
|ERGA Conference (3rd : 2008 : Adelaide, Australia)
|Motivating our learners is the theme of this year’s ERGA conference and having a better understanding of what engages them from the perspective of their values and beliefs is the focus of this paper. It reports on the 2008 survey findings of 200 Middle Eastern university dental students and the educational implications of their cultural values and beliefs. The research is preliminary and comparative research will be undertaken at the University of Adelaide later in 2008. However the early findings, which have been compared with that of Hofstede (2001), indicate that various factors have an impact on cultural dimensions and educational implications. These include: the extent of education, discipline/occupation, gender, age and socio-economic status of learners. Introduction Motivating our learners is the theme of this year’s ERGA conference and having a better understanding of what engages them educationally from the perspective of their values and beliefs is the focus of this paper. It considers the 2008 survey findings of 200 Middle Eastern university dental students in order to identify cultural values and beliefs and the educational implications, specifically for online learning design and facilitation. Comparative research with University of Adelaide dental students will be undertaken later in 2008. Methodology A Values Survey Module 1994 (VSM94) developed by Hofstede (2001) for comparing culturally determined values of people from two or more countries or regions was distributed to Year 1, 2 and 3 Bachelor of Dental Surgery students at the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates in 2008. Twenty content questions allow index scores to be calculated on five dimensions of national value systems as components of national cultures: Power Distance (PDI), Individualism (IDV), Masculinity (MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI), and Long-term Orientation (LTO). In addition to the 20 content questions there are 6 demographic questions. The researcher further developed a survey instrument using the theoretical Community of Inquiry framework developed by Garrison and Anderson (2003) in order to determine the extent of teaching presence required by the Sharjah students in online learning environments, as well as an online student evaluation of an online roleplay simulation that they undertook. A Learning Styles preference survey (VARK) was also undertaken with the Sharjah students. The findings will be compared with those of the Values Survey Module when further research within the University of Adelaide is completed later in 2008. This paper concentrates on cultural dimensions and the educational implications for students in the Arab World.
|Copyright © 2008 University of Adelaide
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