The Impact of Digital Learning on Cross-Cultural Communication

 Lifintsev, D., & Wellbrock, W. (2019). Cross-cultural communication in the digital age. Estudos em Comunicação, 1(28), 93-104

For many people it is easier to deal with a representative of a different culture when they are not “face-to-face”, especially with language barriers. Online translators, auto-correcting etc. can make a person more confident during cross-cultural communication processes. 

Interesting point: This article states English is a “must-have” skill for both personal and business issues for people all over the world. This is an interesting statement as this study focused on sample countries where English is not the primary language.

Positive: Digital age tools simplify the process of cross cultural communication. 

Negative: Online communication is not enough to build real trust between people


Dennen, V. P., & Bong, J. (2018). Cross-cultural dialogues in an open online course: Navigating national and organizational cultural differences. TechTrends, 62(4), 383-392.

Expectations between individualistic and collectivist cultures for online learning are very different. For example, collectivist culture is familiar with instructivist learning (expect more lecture based) and did not expect peer interaction to be part of the learning experience. Individualist cultures focus on independent work and not necessarily on group work-which may be part of course design, therefore creating a mismatch of expectations.

Interesting Point:

Learners in online learning tended to lead with their national culture and identity which may lead to conflict with the instructor’s pedagogical approach

Positive: Ability to learn online from any geographical location

Reduced cost/expense related to travel and student visas to attend on campus in other countries.

Negative: Pedagogical and course design mismatch with cultural expectations: 

Political Issues-Social media tools are restricted in some countries due to political reasons.  Students may only write positive posts due to fear of political reprisals for being critical.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *