Subtle Multicultural Advantages of Online Learning: A Focus on Perspective-Taking

Julia Penn Shaw


Many teachers have been challenged by the unexpected and rushed transition to online learning, forcing them to modify their courses for a virtual environment in a matter of weeks, or even days. Hopefully, they will soon see pedagogical advantages of virtual learning that may be overlooked during this unprecedented time—in addition to the current benefit of protecting the health of faculty, staff, and students. Four that are presented here are particularly relevant to teachers of culturally diverse students who increasingly enroll in online courses: (1) cycles of reflection, (2) scaffolded integration of content, (3) articulate communication, and (4) visible responsibility for learning. The advantages to both deep learning and perspective-taking—both of particular interest to culturally diverse student populations—are presented for each of the four benefits.

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