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Title: Blending and shaking : Chinese students’ perceptions of blended learning in a hospitality and tourism course
Authors: Penfold, P
Pang, L
Keywords: Active learning
Blended learning
Hospitality education
Hong Kong
Issue Date: May-2008
Source: Proceedings of the 6th Asia-Pacific (APacCHRIE) Conference and THE-ICE International Panel of Experts Forum 2008, Perth, Western Australia, May 21-24, 2008 (CD-ROM) How to cite?
Abstract: A Confucian tradition of 2,500 years still permeates the delivery of higher education in Greater China and much of North Asia, leading to passive learning and a teacher-centred approach. This paper describes how one hospitality course from a Hong Kong university was transformed into a student-centred, blended learning programme using independent and group learning methods to engage and motivate students, and to evaluate the success or otherwise of this approach. The research questions this paper tries to answer are: 1) Can we successfully use Western theories of learning to redesign a course for students from a Chinese Confucian educational system? 2) Can we apply established theories of learning design and assessment to a traditional higher education course? 3) Can we identify a particular mix of blended learning to achieve better outcomes than a traditional course? The authors describe how they used a range of learning and teaching techniques including pre-class tasks, problem-based learning, a Wikibook group project and peer review to create a highly participative hospitality and tourism course. Students were surveyed about their perceptions of this transformed course through a Mid-term evaluation and an end-of-course questionnaire and gave detailed feedback on their preferred learning and assessment methods, providing a number of recommendations on how to deliver the subject. The study suggests Chinese students value the active learning approach, but that changes to teaching and learning methods need to be introduced over time, and across the whole curriculum, to become acceptable to most students.
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