ResearchOER Journal :: Issue 01: Socio-Cultural Issues in Design & Use of Open Educational Resources

Quantitative Assessment of Similarities and Differences between East Collectivists and West Individualists in Open Content Learning Activities (OCLA)


Dr. Amal Hanna, PhD

Managing Editor

International Journal of Research in Open Educational Resources





Background & Aims: Behavior depends on mental processing and assessment of goal choices. Such assessment influenced by individual preferences, which is also reshaped by cultural values, which means that motivation is cultural. There are recognised differences (and similarities) in motivation between individualists and collectivists although the universality of motivation. Previous studies have explored differences between those contributing to Wikipedia across cultures and those volunteering to real-world organisations, but are any differences between those OER read-writers, who read (only [non-contributors]) or write (involve reading [contributors]), open content educational resources, such as Wikibooks, from Eastern collectivists and Western individualists – a question that is answered in this paper.


Methodology & Methods: To answer this research question, two studies was undertaken. Study 1 involved a web-based survey that was used to collect the data from Arabic Eastern collectivist Wikibooks read-writers and English Western individualist Wikibooks read-writers. The survey aimed to measure the intrinsic and extrinsic approach motivation and the different avoidance motivations. Study 2 involved a face-to-face questionnaire that was used to collected data from collectivist and individualist non-Wikibooks read-writers about their views on whether a motivation can be seen as self-oriented or others/community-oriented.


Results & Findings: Results of data analysis shows that there are significant differences between participants from the two cultures. Collectivists are motivated more by extrinsic problem-solving reasons than the individualists. Moreover, the self-oriented motivations are weighted more than the others-oriented across the two cultures, but higher for individualists than for the collectivists. Lack of confidence, is however, has no difference across the two cultural groups. Beyond other findings and implications discussed in this paper, future research should further investigate whether the strategies for culture-based open content learning activities have improved OCER contributions.


Keywords: Wikibooks, Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Content Learning Activities (OCLA), Motivations, Eastern Arabic Collectivist, Western English Individualist, Collectivism & Individualism.



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Cite as: Hanna, A. 2014, ‘Quantitative Assessment of Similarities and Differences between East Collectivists and West Individualists in Open Content Learning Activities (OCLA)’, International Journal of Research in Open Educational Resources, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 17-35,