Cross-Cultural Collaborative Online Learning: If You Build it, Will They Come?


  • Sue-Jen Chen University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Edward J. Caropreso University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Chao-Li Hsu Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages
  • Junfeng Yang Hangzhou Normal University


This study, based on cultural and social constructivist learning theories, investigated the effects of implementation of the Cross-cultural Online Collaborative Learning (COCL) Model to guide educators in designing effective cross-cultural online collaborative learning environments and experiences. Twenty-eight Chinese and 37 U.S. students participated in online discussions involving cultural and instructional topics. An attitude survey was administered to assess students' overall attitudes, feelings, and opinions about their cross-cultural collaborative online learning experiences. The study results support the overall conclusion that if we "build it" students will "come" together.

Author Biographies

Sue-Jen Chen, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Sue-Jen Chen is an Associate Professor of Instructional Technology in Watson School of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Research focused on Instructional Systems from Florida State University. She teaches courses on instructional design and evaluation, instructional technology, and instructional video production. Dr. Chen’s research interests include learning theories and application, online learning and communication, learning environment design, cross-cultural collaboration, and technology integration into teaching and learning. She can be reached at

Edward J. Caropreso, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Edward J. Caropreso is an Associate Professor of Education in the Specialty Studies Department of the Watson School of Education, University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He has a MA and PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia, Athens. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on educational psychology, human development and learning, and educational research. His current research interests involve online learning, cognition and cognitive development, and teacher professional development. Eddie can be reached at

Chao-Li Hsu, Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages

Chao-Li Hsu is an Associate Professor of Foreign Language Education at Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages, Taiwan. She received her doctoral degree in Educational Research from Florida State University. She is also Director of the Center for Faculty Development at Wenzao where she tries to help faculty members use innovative teaching methods, apply instructional technology, produce digital materials, and engage in research in order to achieve excellence in teaching quality. She can be reached at

Junfeng Yang, Hangzhou Normal University

Junfeng Yang is a lecturer of Educational Technology in Educational Technology Center at Hangzhou Normal University, China. He is currently pursuing a doctorate of Educational Technology at Beijing Normal University. He can be reached at