Goals & Considerations

The goal of creating an online Café project is to help participants arrive at a deeper understanding of the culture of their partner group and of their own culture. As a part of the process, participants will also work with and learn the language of their partner group. How this cultural and language learning is to be carried out depends on the specific goals and objectives determined by the designers of the exchange, in collaboration with their partners. If you are considering creating an online Café project, here are some materials that may guide you when considering overall content, establishing partnerships and building community, and defining institutional parameters for your online intercultural exchange, taking Cultura and its daughter projects as a point of departure.

On to Content & Tasks

keySuggested media library items

(Full library archive is here)

Summer Institute 2008 Workshop Schedule — MS Word document

An outline of the vision, mission, themes and topics covered during the 2008 Summer Institute, Online Cafés for Heritage Learners.

Building online inter-institutional learning communities — PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint presentation accompanying David Hiple’s lectures at Summer Institute 2008 titled “Considerations for utilizing inter-institutional online learning environments” and “Introduction to online workshop environments.” In the talks, David gave an overview of the “Cafe” idea and supplied theoretical background, followed by multiple examples from Cafés he had previously implemented.

A description of existing model projects in Cultura — PowerPoint presentation

Gilberte Furstenberg’s PowerPoint about four past adaptations/instantiations of the Cultura model. Provides “stories” or simple descriptions of actual exchanges rather than focusing on theory.


Gilberte Furstenberg of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, creator of Cultura, explains the differences among four Café projects for intercultural exchange — in Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Samoan — at the University of Hawaii that were designed to serve populations with distinct characteristics.