When: In session Wednesday 19th February, 11:00am–12:50pm
Research in developing countries often involves teams of scientists from developing and developed countries, who use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to communicate between dispersed team members. These scientists come from different cultures and language groups and live in varying economic and political environments.
I investigated the utility and useability of nine ICTs, including social media, email and websites used by teams of agricultural scientists from Lao PDR and Australia, using an intercultural heuristic evaluation tool, or I-CHET. I found that asynchronous ICTs such as email were preferred by non-native English speakers, while synchronous media such as instant messaging and Skype presented considerable problems between team members from different cultures and language groups.
Most ICTs evaluated in the study demonstrated little consideration for non-native English speakers and for inexperienced ICTs users. However, all evaluated ICTs demonstrated the ability to transmit information and encourage communication between information users in scientific collaborations.
The I-CHET assessment tool highlights the ongoing need for a ‘toolbox’ of communication ICTs for research collaborations that can be adapted to suit the cultural and professional needs of multinational teams, worldwide.
Wesley Ward, Researcher, Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University