Cultural Implications for Turkish and Dutch Telecollaboration projects
“Culture is the collective programming of the mind distinguishing the members of one
group or category of people from others” – Geert Hofstede
21st century skills are implemented in educational curricula throughout the world. Telecollaboration programmes are often a means through which these skills are taught. However cross-cultural telecollaboration programmes do not always work out as planned. Lamy and Goodfellow (2010) sum up a number of possible causes found in different studies. They report on practical and cultural differences in Educational structures and values and on differences in socio-cultural aspects and communication. O’Dowd & Ritter (2006) come to the following requirements for teachers setting up these projects:
Educators interested in organizing telecollaborative projects should therefore have an in-depth understanding of the possible reasons for failed communication and should also possess a battery of techniques and practices which they can use in the course of their online exchanges in order for their students to derive maximum benefit from the exchanges
Recently Master students at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences engaged in a short telecollaboration project with one of the Universities of Istanbul, Turkey and encountered difficulties. Dutch students reported on Turkish students not knowing how to deal with the task or lack of understanding of what should be done, and lack of initiative/cooperation on the Turkish side.
In order to find out what teachers should know about the cultural differences and its implications for telecollaboration and communication between Turkish and Dutch participants in telecollaboration projects, I have studied the cultural differences between Turkey and The Netherlands and research outcomes on practical issues of intercultural telecollaboration projects.
Pinto and Hofstede
For a comparison of the Turkish and Dutch...