Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Intercultural Competence: A Phenomenological Exploration of Trainees’ Experiences within Global Virtual Training Environments.

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Chris O'Toole



Research suggests that a crucial aspect of communication for successful interactions between online trainers and trainees of different cultures is intercultural competence. A question is therefore posed: “To what extent and in what ways does the trainee experience trainer intercultural competence within a global virtual training environment?” It is important to answer this question to understand and enhance intercultural competence of trainers within a global virtual training environment (VTE).This phenomenological study explored the lived experience[1] of three trainees (one being the researcher) within two professional global VTEs. Data was collected through short written reports of participants’ experience of the phenomenon and through an in-depth semi-structured interview. Findings revealed low levels of intercultural competence within global VTEs. However the data collected also suggested that enhanced intercultural communication on behalf of the trainers would improve training. Three themes described the participants’ experiences; substantial intercultural biases held by trainers towards trainees; frequent communication problems between trainers and trainees; and a preference by trainees for trainers to enhance their intercultural competence within global VTEs. Limitations included the relatively low number of participants.


[1]Individual experiences of people as conscious human beings (Moustakas, 1994).


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How to Cite
O’Toole, C. (2018). Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Intercultural Competence: A Phenomenological Exploration of Trainees’ Experiences within Global Virtual Training Environments. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 12–29.
Original Research
Author Biography

Chris O'Toole, University of Lancaster, NUIG

BA, Dip Law, Dip CCI, MSc CCI, QFA,
MBA Technology Management,
PhD Candidate Technology Enhanced Learning,
Centre for Adult Learning And Professional Development,
NUI Galway,


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