Waikato Journal of Education
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How to Cite

Vail, H. (2019). Examining the need for culturally responsive digital learning. Waikato Journal of Education, 23(2). https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v23i2.652


This article addresses the pedagogy and practice of tertiary learning, and in particular it asks, how is there a need for culturally responsive digital learning? Research shows how, worldwide, classroom content is being delivered through shifting, digitally-infused curriculum (van Dijck, 2013; Netsafe, 2016; Orr, 2016; Revere & Kovach, 2011). The focus of this article is to examine ways in which online, participatory structures work to engage all learners. In New Zealand tertiary contexts, there is an increasing number of culturally diverse student cohorts (particularly due to international education marketing and strategies [Ministry of Education, 2017]). I consider how common spaces in the digital platforms available for educational purposes can be seen to embody a common culture. Research informing this article comes from two studies I have undertaken. The first is a practical inquiry of the use of online spaces in the ‘global classroom’ (a term defined in this case as the world wide web of information, and also an institution’ s role to educate within a multinational, multicultural population). The second is a qualitative look into how educators discovered effective learning practices, for international students in particular, based upon a study that included educator interviews at one tertiary institute. Merging data from both studies indicated that incorporating digital learning through the now-familiar online spaces requires more dynamic, culturally responsive pedagogy. This research aims to provide some improved insight for all educators looking to answer this posed question.


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