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Cultural Sensitivity in Voluntary Virtual Professional Development Communities

, Sheffield University, United Kingdom ; , 2Kagawa Junior College, Japan ; , University of Lethbridge, Canada ; , Massey University New Zealand ; , CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants, Canada

Indian Journal of Open Learning Volume 9, Number 3, ISSN 0971-2690 Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Open University


This paper explores some of the issues in working across time and space boundaries forprofessional development of online educators. It focuses on voluntary aspects of professional development within the context of networked learning communities. It also places an emphasis on ways of respecting and acknowledging cultural and individual difference within such voluntary communities in ways that also respond to the wider needs of others in the community. A sampling of current practice in networked learning communities is offered as a backdrop to a more detailed review of our own collaborative practice and the development of the World Association for Online Education (WAOE) as one example of a virtual community. As a way of describing our design and response to cultural diversity that exists within our community each of us also offers our own individual 'story' of our involvement in the collaborative development process. This is offered to illustrate the way that our provision will function and also acknowledge ourselves as a subcommunity seeking to research and understand our own collaborative practice.


Bowskill, N., McCarty, S., Luke, R., Kinshuk, K. & Hand, K. (2000). Cultural Sensitivity in Voluntary Virtual Professional Development Communities. Indian Journal of Open Learning, 9(3), 361-380. Indira Gandhi National Open University. Retrieved December 11, 2019 from .