This study, performed at the request of a multinational telecommunications company based in the Unites States, evaluated potential cross-cultural differences that could impact instructional design when developing training for a global audience, specifically Chinese engineers. The research team surveyed 66 participants from the target audience to identify their learning preferences for process and procedure-based tasks, as well as potential cultural influences that could impact training design. Longstanding cultural differences between the U.S. and China may impact the effectiveness of selected instructional design methods. However, some of the popular cultural models tend to stereotype learners by their geographical regions. This study discovers that these stereotypical generalizations about mainland Chinese learners may be called into question by the rapidly shifting social, cultural, and economic conditions in China. This study suggests the following guidelines when designing training for Chinese engineers: 1) Understand the complexity of the learning population; 2) Select instructional methods based on effectiveness for the task and the learning population's preferences; 3) Provide culturally sensitive options for resolving learner questions; and 4) Offer high quality translated materials when appropriate.
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