Publication Details

McFarlane, P. & Fuller, A. (2004). Mirroring does not equal transparency: the importance of culturally aware student interfaces. Australian Computer Human Interaction Conference. Wollongong: OZCHI.


The University of Wollongong, along with most other Australian universities, now has considerable investment in delivering courses to Asian markets. While there is some concern regarding the relevance of a Western-based subject delivery to an Asian culture, most transnational teachers do localize course materials to varying degrees. However, the web-based interfaces to the subject materials are rarely, if ever, similarly adapted to better suit the culture of the intended target audience.

In this paper we argue that failure to take into consideration student perceptions of the interface provided to the materials may adversely affect the usability of such systems. Any advantages gained by localizing course content may thus be totally negated. We contend that providing a culturally aware student-computer interface is equally as important as ensuring local relevance of content.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Australian Computer Human Interaction Conference