Auburn Outreach App Promotes Cultural Understanding
Auburn University’s Center for Educational Outreach and Engagement (CEOE) has launched Culture Bump©: Learn to Connect Beyond Differences, a new mobile device app fostering cross-cultural understanding. A unit in Auburn’s Division of University Outreach, CEOE provides academic, social and cultural experiences promoting college and career readiness for Alabama youth.
CEOE’s Culture Bump© App provides users with quick and easy to understand solutions to common cultural situations people face throughout the world. The app is based on the “Culture Bump© Approach,” a unique and effective cultural and communication training program which has taught thousands of students, business people and groups to better connect with people around them.
The Culture Bump© App represents a paradigm shift in common methods for teaching and understanding cultural differences. Instead of focusing on the differences between countries, the app uses universal similarities between cultures as a way to highlight the common elements shared among cultures. This information design allows users to simultaneously understand not only points of difference but also points of connection between themselves and others of differing backgrounds.
The Culture Bump© App currently hosts over 25 different country profiles which examine how each country handles specific situations, such as being late to a class, unprepared for a test, etc. The app allows the user to compare cultural differences in multiple countries simultaneously. “Culture Bump© redefines cultural understanding to give people the tools and the confidence to interact with anyone anywhere,” says CEOE director Stacey Nickson.
The cultural data for the Culture Bump© App was collected at the Language and Culture Center, an intensive ESL center located on the University of Houston campus which has served over 20,000 students from 79 different countries since its establishment in 1975. International students from six LCC classes were surveyed through purposive sampling for a one-year period to build a foundation of accurate and authentic cultural information for each country on the app. CEOE collaborated with Dr. Cheryl Seals, an Auburn professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, and her graduate student team, Ahmad Safdar, Ai-Te Kuo and Tian Xia, to bring the cultural information to life with a user-friendly, intuitive mobile application design.
The Culture Bump© App is both ISO and Android compatible and can be found on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. For more information on the Culture Bump© App and training programs, visit CEOE’s website.
Last Updated: October 15, 2019