The GEC Blog

Culture + Adult Learning + Technology

Join the conversation – What IS a cultural difference?

I posted two videos on the Global eLearning Community website ( In the first one, learners from different countries described the challenges they faced the first time they took an American course. In the second video, they made suggestions as to what would have made learning easier for them as non-Americans.

I asked colleagues on LinkedIn to give me their input. To my somewhat surprise, some of them felt that the challenges expressed by these learners were common across America and were likely not cultural at all.

I invite you to join the conversation on LinkedIn!

August 15, 2013 Posted by | Culture and How We Learn | Leave a comment

Graphic design…who are you trying to impress?

eWorldLearning Business Card

I asked several global colleagues to comment on several business card designs, one of which was multicolored, contained my photo, and had a few tag lines for marketing purposes. I found the response from my German colleague, Rita, to be quite interesting…

[Dear Andrea],
As to your business cards…What should I say? What I see is unfortunately not to my liking…
Does it mean that I am adapted to German mono-colored (mostly white/black) quite simple-looking B-cards with simple design – without any photos, pictures (only a logo), with no (or minimized – a slogan) texts, giving only essential information (such as name, business address…)?

I also asked, “Do Germans tend to give their card to everyone they meet? Or after they’ve developed a relationship?”

[Dear Andrea],
When you take part in some workshop/seminar/congress, it’s a must to take plenty of your b-cards with to ensure that full details of your background, qualifications, titles, and tel, email, Skype are given. You have little time to develop a relationship, so in case you’ve had a small talk and found somebody interesting, you ask for his/her b-card. A general rule: Small talk—–B-card (mostly with a question: May I have your B-card?)

Rita then supplied me with this information and these examples:

This is a trend – Firm’s logo, white and black, who, where, to be contacted via phone, e-mail, etc. The Germans are practical and direkt. Nothing extra. (“Oh, he/she is sooooooooo creative!” – does an engineer or a doctor need it?)

But – to compare:
Creativity has its say but for those who are in creative branches-web designers, graphic designers, photographers, etc. In a designer forum, a young media-designer is discussing his b-card idea and is being critisized for having used his photo (“are you a designer or a hair-dresser?”)

That’s why I was unprepared to accept the variant proposed to you by your designer.

What do YOU think of graphic versus textual business card designs?

August 2, 2013 Posted by | Country-Specific Information | Leave a comment