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IMPDET-LE and the edtech research group at the School of Computing organises a two day scientific symposium titled: Cultural Challenges for e-learning. The programme of the symposium includes presentations given by visiting scholar and the public examination of Msc. Joseph Kizito Bada's doctoral dissertation. 

Students who participate to the symposium are able to receive 1 ECTS of advanced level Computer Science course mark by participating to the four presentations of the symposium, and writing an essay of 1-2 pages, clarifying how they can contribute to at least three themes covered during the presentations.

For more information, please contact Jarkko Suhonen: jarkko.suhonen(at)



Place: 2DT106/B, Science Park

13:15 - 13:45

Ms. Veronica Omeni, Vice Principal and Director of Studies, Leeds Language Collage, UK

Topic: Cultural Awareness and Intercultural Communication Skills Through On-Line Interaction and Instructional Web-Based Technology in an Educational Context

The computer with its Internet and media capabilities is a powerful educational resource (Anderson and Speck 2001). Reports and research seem to indicate that the Internet is an environment which fosters more opportunity for expression, reflection and productivity of ideas (Kern,1995). Research has shown that most speakers of a second language, when not exposed to cultural elements, experience problems in communicating successfully in broader cultural contexts with people of different backgrounds (Barnett, 2000). Different people have different world-views (Freeman, D. and Y, 2004), based on their individual interpretation and this hinders communication. If individuals are exposed to cultural diversity, they will be more open to understanding cultural contexts, whereas those with limited contact may not consider cultural contexts at all (Hofstede, 2005). These advancements and changes in interaction and attitude should move instructors to have to reconsider educational models (Bates, 2000) and look into alternative forms of tuition delivery not based solely on textbooks or literature (which can lack human interaction and are open
to cultural translation or misinterpretation). Instructional or educational technology solutions can provide learners with a culturally-adaptive and flexible platform on which to carry out cooperative tasks with people of different backgrounds, thereby simulating contact with individuals they would not otherwise meet. Research carried out in these areas is not exhaustive and opens many opportunities for further discussion. 

13:45 - 14:15

Prof. Lesley Wood, Research Professor, School of Continuing Education, North-West University, South Africa

Topic: HIV/AIDS: Global Crisis or Opportunity for Transformation


There is no doubt that the HIV and AIDS pandemic is one of the greatest global crises of our times, in terms of its impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of individuals, and the economic and political impact on nations.  The pandemic has ensured that the future of today’s youth will be very different from that of their parents. As tertiary educators, we have to prepare them to live and work in contexts that have been radically altered by the combined impact of HIV and AIDS, climate change and rapid technological advances. Thus, the pandemic has also created opportunity for us to improve our understanding about the intricate interplay of social, economic, gender, race, class and sexuality factors that fuel the transmission of HIV. It allows us to raise debate about the material conditions that produce social inequalities and render some populations more vulnerable than others. In doing this, we have to rethink what we teach and choose to foreground in our research. This presentation will be grounded in the argument that HIV and AIDS provides an opportunity for us to humanise our educational practices by ensuring that they are based on epistemological and ontological values that will contribute to the development of graduates who will be better equipped to lead and innovate in a world characterised by HIV and AIDS.

14:15 - 14:30 Break

14:30 - 15:00

Professor Emeritus Reijo E. Heinonen, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

Topic: Dialogue Competence and Security


In this presentation it is pledged for a holistic approach to the conflict resolution. It means that the functions of cultural and religious values must be taken in account, when aiming towards peaceful solutions. Since the well-known article of Samuel Huntington "Clash of Civilizations?" in the Foreign Affairs periodical 1993 the role of religions has been highlighted in creation of values and cultures and their functions, in the tensions between civilizations. To study this relationship is motivated also by the paradigm shift in the security politics, which has taken place in international arenas. The Development Report of the UN 1994 (UNDP 1994,22-23) gave the name to this new perspective :"human security". As in the old paradigm it was emphasized primarily the avoidance of war between states, in the new paradigm the focus was laid on the process which proceed the warfare, on the avoidance of conflicts between citizens and their societies. The increasing amount of suffering of civilians, women and children during the modern wars, promoted further the rise of this new emphasis. As a key element in proceeding towards peaceful solutions and human security this paper proclaims "dialogue competence", which can create confidence and sincere interaction between individuals and groups.

15:00 - 15:30

Prof. Jan Pawlowski, University of Jyväskylä

Topic: Nordic Open Education and Global Implications


12:00, Louhela Auditorium, Science Park

Public examination of doctoral dissertation: Msc. Joseph Kizito Bada

Topic: Integrating Digital Learning Objects for HIV/AIDS Prevention: A Contextualized Approach

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