The intent of this study was to learn about students' perceived barriers and the impact of those barriers on the quality of online discussions between two distinct cultural groups in Eastern and Northern Siberia (Russia). A mixed-methods approach utilizing surveys and interviews was used to investigate (1) the types of barriers the students perceived participating in an asynchronous online course across the two cultural groups, and (2) the impact of those barriers on the quality of students' postings. Findings indicate that cultural influences can add potential barriers to online learning aside from those widely reported in the literature. The study has implications for instructors and designers in creating online learning environments, especially as it relates to asynchronous communication across multiple locations and cultural backgrounds.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dazhi_yang/19/