Designed for cross-cultural communication — Research on instructional message design of the Confucius Institute Online

Xuelian Li
Shanghai International Studies University
Shanghai, China

The Confucius Institute is one of the important measures for international communication about Chinese culture today and a major strategy for Chinese ‘soft power’ enhancement. However, with the Institute’s expansion, many problems have emerged, such as a shortage of teachers, a lack of teaching materials and a lack of systematic evaluation mechanisms. These difficulties have prevented improvement in the Institute’s teaching quality and further development. However, the Confucius Institute Online will provide a useful and important complement and support because of its extremely rich resources and flexible interaction. Based on educational psychology theories, communication studies and aesthetic design, the paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the Confucius Institute Online instructional message design and operation, including a cross-cultural analysis of the audience, the design and integration of instructional resources, the interaction design and the effective integration of online and offline learning activities. We also give some suggestions about how to apply a network technology platform effectively to respond to the multiple needs of learners worldwide so as to achieve cross-cultural dissemination of Chinese culture.