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Providing Cultural Context with Educational Multimedia in the South Pacific

Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 9, Number 1, ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647


A recent research and development project conducted at the University of the South Pacific (USP) examined how educational multimedia can be built according to the learning approaches of the region. Through interviews, questionnaires and usability tests with staff and students at USP, the research team drafted a set of recommendations for the development of educational multimedia in the region. They then built an interactive CD-rom based on these recommendations. This paper focuses on the results related to cultural context, and the directions they indicate for educational multimedia developers in the South Pacific. Specifically, the study found that Distance and Flexible Learning (DFL) materials do not generally provide the cultural context that staff and students desire at USP, as they rarely utilize local metaphors, examples or Vernacular language. The paper presents approaches developed during the project to provide cultural context in two categories: decentralised and dialogic contextualisation. Through decentralised contextualization tools such as a Wiki or digital scrapbook, students are encouraged to provide their own cultural context to the learning materials. Dialogic contextualisation tools such as virtual peers and interactive quizzes can provide cultural context in a more conversational, personified, and centralised manner. These ideas are illustrated with specific examples of educational multimedia projects, so that they can be easily replicated and modified by educational multimedia developers in their own contexts. (Contains 6 figures.)


Robbins, C. (2006). Providing Cultural Context with Educational Multimedia in the South Pacific. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 9(1), 202-212. Retrieved October 17, 2019 from .

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