Communicating across Cultures in the Classroom Using an Online 3D Virtual World

  • Theodor Wyeld
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6837)


The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry is inherently a global industry. As such, it requires workers to collaborate across timezones and different cultures. There is little scope for undergraduates of ICT to directly experience this sort of cross-cultural environment whilst studying. The project outlined in this paper describes the need to introduce students to cross-cultural experiences in a work environment and how this was achieved using an online collaborative 3D virtual world. Students from 3 geographically distant institutions collaborated in the online construction of a 3D Tower of Babel. How they went about this and their inventive methods for overcoming cross-cultural communication difficulties is discussed. This paper forms the basis for a keynote talk at ICHL2011.


cross-culture 3D virtual world online collaboration 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Wyeld, T.G.: Working with Cultural Differences: A Case Study in Multicultural Teamwork using a 3DCVE. In: Edvardsen, F., Kulle, H. (eds.) Educational Games: Design, Learning and Applications. Nova Science Pub Inc., Bombay (2010)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Latu, S., Young, A.: Teaching ICT to Pacific Island Background Students. In: Lister, R., Young, A. (eds.) Proceedings of the Sixth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2004), Dunedin, NZ. Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology, vol. 30 (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Knowles, M.S.: Educational Materials Catalog: From Teacher to Facilitator of Learning. Follett Publishing Co., (1981)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kolb, D.A.: Experimental Learning. Prentice – Hall, Englewood Cliffs (1984)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Leidner, D., Jarvenpaa, S.: The Use of Information Technology to Enhance Management School Education: A Theoretical View. MIS Quarterly (September 1995) Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Seifert, T.: Understanding Student Motivation. Educational Research 46, 137–149 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Clear, T., Kassabova, D.: Motivational Patterns in Virtual Team Collaboration. In: Young, A., Tolhurst, D. (eds.) Proceedings of Australasian Computing Education Conference 2005, Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology, Newcastle, Australia, vol. 42 (2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vygotsky, L.S.: Mind in Society. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1978)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Engestrom, Y.: Learning by Expanding: An Activity-Theoretical Approach to Developmental Research. Orienta-Konsultit, Helsinki (1987)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bardram, J.E.: Plans as Situated Action: An Activity Theory Approach to Workflow Systems. In: Proceedings of ECSCW 1997, Lancaster, UK, September 7-11, pp. 17–24. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands (1997)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kuutti, K.: Information Systems, Cooperative Work and Active Subjects: The Activity-Theoretical Perspective. Ph.D. Thesis, Research Papers Series A 23, Department of Information Processing Science. University of Oulu, Finland (1994)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schutz, W.: Firo: A three-dimensional theory of interpersonal behavior. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York (1958)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cartwright, D., Zander, A.: Group Dynamics: Research and Theory. Harpercollins College Div., New York (1968)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Heath, C., Luff, P.: Convergent Activities: Line Control and passenger Information on the London Underground. In: Engestrom, Y., Middleton, D. (eds.) Cognition and Communication at Work, pp. 96–129. Cambridge University Press, USA (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jarvenpaa, S., Leidner, D.: Communication and Trust in Global Virtual Teams. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 3 (1998)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodor Wyeld
    • 1
  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAustralia

Personalised recommendations