Instructional design for cross-cultural online collaboration: Grouping strategies and assignment design

Chun-Min Wang


The latest networking technologies have made it easier to provide authentic learning experiences for intercultural collaboration. However, more guidance about how to conduct a successful online, cross-cultural collaboration is needed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the instructional design for forming a cross-cultural group and designing the assignments for online cross-cultural collaboration projects. By investigating two collaborative classes of college students from the United States and Taiwan, the study analysed two different grouping strategies and various types of assignments to examine the level of students' learning satisfaction. The study adopted the action research approach, and collected data from an online survey and the students' reflection essays. The findings indicate the importance of building a sense of learning community and taking advantage of integrating multimedia for assignment design. The findings also suggest that instructors should have strict requirements for communication between partners, and take advantage of Web 2.0 tools for informal communication. More details about the challenges encountered and suggestions for improvement are discussed in the article.

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