Managing cultural issues
The impact of culture in the moderation of assessment in the transnational context has a number of dimensions. Transnational teaching and professional teams conduct assessment work across national and organisational cultural boundaries. Our research found that the main challenges due to cultural issues are:
- Differences in communication style between 'Australian culture' and other cultures, with Australian academics being perceived as being more direct by some transnational partner staff
- Preconceived ideas about differences in learning styles and approaches of Australian and transnational students
- Differences in attitudes towards plagiarism with Australian academics placing greater emphasis on academic writing and referencing
- Lack of awareness of how implicit cultural perspectives impact on assessment tasks and moderation processes.
Listen to what transnational partner academics say about cultural issues (mp3, 780KB), learning styles (mp3, 527 KB, language issues (mp3, 652KB), exams (mp3, 546KB). These are direct quotes from interview transcripts read by actors.
Some good practices to handle cultural issues identified by our research are:
- Contexualise pedagogy and assessment where appropriate
- Establish supportive mutual relationships
- Provide opportunities for interaction
- Use technology to support communication, e.g. Skype, ZOOM
- Take cultural issues into account in procedures and regulations.
Our survey found a strong correlation between satisfaction with communication and satisfaction with moderation. An overview of the survey results (PDF, 216KB) is available.
Resources in this section of the toolkit can assist you in managing cultural issues.
- At the institutional and departmental level you can use the presentation on Managing cultural issues (PPTX, 326KB) to stimulate discussion and action. A PDF version of the presentation is available (PDF, 191KB)
- An online resource on intercultural interaction in transnational teaching by the University of South Australia
- A narrative (PDF, 318KB) on moderation and assessment practices
- A narrative (PDF, 256KB) on cultural issues.