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The Role of Power Distance in Determining the Effectiveness of Educational Technology

The Role of Power Distance in Determining the Effectiveness of Educational Technology
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Author(s): Elizabeth Koh (National University of Singapore, Singapore) and John Lim (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-929-8.ch117
ISBN13: 9781599049298
EISBN13: 9781466665378


Educational technology is being deployed rapidly all over the world. Correspondingly, there is also an increase in student collaboration from different cultural backgrounds through diversified student populations, institutionalized programs and distance learning. The cultural background of students is thus important in IT and education today. This conceptual paper surmises the effectiveness of educational technology, focusing on the dimension of power distance (Hofstede 1980) due to its relevancy to the context. The focus of this paper is on exploring how educational technology affects learning outcomes, and the role of power distance in influencing the effectiveness of educational technology. We postulate that power distance is a moderating influence on the relationship between educational technology and learning outcomes. In particular, the availability of educational technology increases learning outcomes but the effect will be greater on low power distance learners than on high power distance learners. This paper begins with a review of the effectiveness of educational technology, followed by a discourse on power distance. Anchored by the literature review, a research framework is formulated based upon which propositions are raised.

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