The Effect of Asian Students’ Culture on Perceptions of Blended Learning Instructional Design

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Norman St. Clair


Judith Beauford


Stephanie Grote-Garcia


Jessica Kimmel


Due to globalization and internationalization, an increasing number of international students have chosen to study in the United States, requiring colleges and universities to integrate more intercultural dimensions into academic activities. One of the top trends to emerge is the implementation of a blended learning model for instructional delivery. However, the cultural influences of Confucianism affect the experience of blended learning for Asian students. As a result of the barriers and challenges from cultural differences and communication patterns, Asian students may have a lower success rate than non-Asian students participating in blended courses. This quantitative study used a survey questionnaire to collect data from 210 Asian students from four universities and colleges. Quantitative methodology with qualitative analysis support was used to explore the effect of blended learning instructional design on Asian students’ performance and to gain information about student preference in higher education. Results demonstrate that most Asian students have quite a high success rate in blended courses, as well as a high level of satisfaction with blended learning. Students report this is due to the flexibility and improved technology resources. When educators share an awareness of the Asian cultural and potential conflicts that may arise as a result of cultural differences, instructors modulate their teaching methods and are able to provide additional supports, such as shared cooperation, instructor-led lessons, nonverbal communication cues, and face-to-face contact. This study provides Western instructors with different perspectives of cross-cultural and communication patterns of Asian students, and instructional needs to establish a structured and guided blended learning environment in order to increase performance and to implement higher level learning and critical thinking. The findings in this study will increase effectiveness of blended learning instructional design for instructors and increase knowledge of blended learning practices for future generations of international students.

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