C. Peterson1, A. Welch1, M. Cakir2, G. Ketterling1

1North Dakota State University (UNITED STATES)
2Marmara University (TURKEY)
Technology allows academic research to transcend geographical distance and allows collaboration across borders. This can occur in at least three ways: collaboration with international partners on a research project, translation and cultural adaptation of survey instruments, and international recruitment of participants and collection of data.

When using survey instruments, differences in language and culture require careful consideration in order to ensure validity and reliability of results. Cross-cultural validation of an instrument requires both linguistic accuracy and cultural relevance.

Initial translation and cultural adaptation efforts appeared in health care survey instruments, but are now spreading to more domains and standards are being developed for cross-cultural use of instruments. Still, not much cross-cultural validation has been done within an education context.

In this study, researchers in the United States and Turkey collaborated to conduct a cross-cultural validation of the Technology-Rich, Outcomes-Focused Learning Environment Inventory (TROFLEI). TROFLEI was originally developed in Australia (Aldridge, Dorman, & Fraser, 2004; Aldridge & Fraser, 2003, 2008) so has already been used in different cultural settings. This involved ensuring both linguistic accuracy and cultural relevance of the English and Turkish language versions of the instrument.

This presentation will demonstrate acceptable protocols to ensure that a survey instrument can be used appropriately in more than one language and cultural context. These include using a translation committee (Candell & Hulin, 1986; Nasser, 2005), decentering method (Nasser, 2005; Werner & Campbell 1970), and the forward- and back-translation process first described by Brislin (1970, 1973, 1980, 1986).

In addition, we will discuss how Web-based technology including Survey Monkey, Skype, and Facebook enhanced international collaboration, translation and adaptation of the instrument, recruitment of participants, and data collection.