Publication Details

Chen, R., Bennett, S. J. & Maton, K. A. (2008). The adaptation of Chinese international students to online flexible learning: two case studies. Distance Education, 29 (3), 307-323.


The cross-cultural experiences of Chinese international students in Western countries have been subject to intensive research, but only a very small number of studies have considered how these students adapt to learning in an online flexible delivery environment. Guided by Berry’s (1980, 2005) acculturation frameworks, the investigation discussed in this paper aims to address this gap by exploring the adaptation processes of Chinese international students to online learning at an Australian university. This paper reports on the challenges perceived by two students from Mainland China, their coping strategies, changes in their opinions of online learning, and their respective patterns of adaptation. By presenting two indicative cases studies drawn from a wider study, this paper aims to demonstrate the use of Berry’s concepts as a means to frame such studies.

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