Taking a MOOC: Socio-cultural Aspects of Virtual Interaction In a Multicultural Learning Community
Keywords: intercultural communication, socio-cultural competence, socio-cultural awareness, MOOCs, virtual interaction, multicultural learning community
AbstractFeaturing different approaches to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) among education policy makers, theorists and practitioners in the field and highlighting an increasing popularity of this educational phenomenon worldwide, the article provides a brief record of MOOCs’ success at Harvard University and the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) making the authors move gradually towards the main focus of this paper – socio-cultural problems, that Russian students frequently face while taking a MOOC in English. The survey described in the article revealed that HSE students establishing online communication with their peers from other countries often complain about sudden, unexpected communication breakdowns that they find difficult to explain and that are likely to occur due to the socio-cultural differences existing between communication partners in a multicultural learning community. The results of the survey presented in the article indicate that there is an urgent need to find effective ways to increase the students’ level of socio-cultural competence that would allow them to communicate successfully in a new virtual learning environment. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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How to Cite
Pavlovskaya, G., & Perkins, M. (2016). Taking a MOOC: Socio-cultural Aspects of Virtual Interaction In a Multicultural Learning Community. Journal of Language and Education, 2(1), 16-21. https://doi.org/10.17323/2411-7390-2016-2-1-16-21