我们的世界正在改变，这意味着教育也在发生变化。新的以知识为基础的技术经济要求越来越多的入门级员工拥有通过学士学位获得的技能。因此，全国各地的大学和学院正在努力捕捉到一个更大的地理部分招生由社会提供的编程。这意味着，学习者更可能参加在线课程，并有他们的阶级成员有一个基础的文化和保留的文化成分，可能不喜欢自己。课程现在可以达到“势者，是居家或从大学校园物理远程的学生，以及学生发现很难适应他们的家庭和工作责任，为传统的学术计划”（美国教师，2000，p.1联邦高等教育政策和计划委员会）。学习者更可能参加课程，妇女，少数民族，移民，和老年人由于对教育和就业的新技术知识经济需要的技能需求增长（桑切斯者，1998，p. 48-9）。在结束“至关重要的是，我们更好地了解影响学习者的文化信仰已经在使用这些通信技术”（Hornick与tupchiy，2006，p. 33）。因此，为了真正理解在线学习情境所固有的复杂性，我们必须反思彼此之间存在的真正差异。
Our world is changing which means that education is changing as well. The new knowledge-based technical economy requires that more and more entry level employees have skills one would learn through the attainment of a bachelor's degree. Therefore, universities and colleges around the nation are working diligently to capture enrollments by providing programming to a larger geographical section of society. This means that learners are more likely to take part in an online course and have members of their class have a basis in a culture and retain cultural components that may not resemble their own. Courses can now reach "potential students who are homebound or physically remote from a college campus, as well as students who find it extremely difficult to fit their family and work responsibilities into a traditional academic schedule" (Higher Education Program and Policy Council of the American Federation of Teachers, 2000, p.1). Learners are more likely to take part in courses with women, minorities, immigrants, and older individuals due to the rise in education and skill requirement for employment that the new knowledge-based technical economy requires (Sanchez & Gunawardena, 1998, p. 48-9). In the end "it is critical that we better understand the impact that learners' cultural beliefs have on the use of these communication technologies" (Hornick & Tupchiy, 2006, p. 33). Therefore, in order to truly understand the complexities inherent in online learning situations we must reflect on the true differences that exist between one another.