USA and Asia Hospitality & Tourism Students' Perceptions and Satisfaction with Online Learning versus Traditional Face-to-Face Instruction

By Baker, David McArthur; Unni, Ramaprasad | e-Journal of Business Education and Scholarship Teaching, July 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

USA and Asia Hospitality & Tourism Students' Perceptions and Satisfaction with Online Learning versus Traditional Face-to-Face Instruction


Baker, David McArthur, Unni, Ramaprasad, e-Journal of Business Education and Scholarship Teaching


Introduction

The development of the information and communication technology has marked everyday life for all of us. Our work, or even our day, usually begins by switching on the computer, checking the e-mail box and news on the internet. We mainly communicate with friends via social networks, and the business contacts are transferred to the Internet. These changes could not be avoided in the field of education. Also in this area an innovative new form of education has emerged. This is distance learning or, as it is often called, e-learning or online learning. The term e-learning (electronic learning) refers to methods of learning through the use of any electronic medium. It is also known as virtual education, online training, open training/open-learning, opencourseware and web-based learning. The Internet is the main tool in implementing elearning (Davoud, 2006). Online learning has roots in the tradition of distance education, which goes back at least 100 years to the early correspondence courses. With the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, the Webification of instruction offers greater flexibility and applicability to students of hospitality and tourism programs worldwide (McDowall & Lin, 2007; Sigala, 2002). Terms such as computer based education, computer based instruction, computer supported learning, distance education, ICT based learning, online learning and web based learning seem to be used interchangeably by different authors; all are claimed to describe e-Learning (McFarlane et al., 2003). For the purposes of this research we will focus on online learning. A wholly online course can be defined as a course that has no face-to-face interaction; all communication and interactions between instructors and students, educational content, learning activities, assessments and support services are integrated and delivered online.

The use of information technology has led to a solution for educational institutions or multinational organizations in the sense of expense and quality issues (Malik, 2009). The concept of e-learning is not a new thing since it has been used worldwide for several decades, and, as the development of technology for e-learning, it is one of the greatest advances of information and communication technologies (Wang, 2003). Distance education has been developing the last 30 years and it is well recognized today. As it is becoming increasingly important and represents a phenomenon, it is a topic of many discussions (Hannum, 2009). Selim (2007) argues that many university programs have included e-learning into their programs as it has emerged from information technology. In the last decades the institutions in the higher education area are making significant efforts in this field. Therefore, students have modified their learning and teachers their teaching methods (Malik 2009). White (2005) argues that in sense of technological and pedagogical shift, distance education represents new challenges in the transition from face to face teaching to more flexible mode of education. Many authors stated that one of the most modern methods is e-learning. By e-learning, the teacher and students participate in the work at different places and usually at different times. Collopy and Arnold (2009) indicate that many studies show that the content of the same lectures can be understood in the online environment, similarly as in the case of conventional lectures in the classroom (Aragon, Johnson & Shaik, 2002; Meyer, 2003).

Between 2000 and 2011, the number of international students has more than doubled. Today, almost 4.5 million tertiary students are enrolled outside their country of citizenship with 17% studying in the USA. During 2011 the largest numbers of international students were from China, India and Korea. Asian students account for 53% of all students studying abroad worldwide. The purpose of this study is to measure USA and Asian students' learning perceptions related to hospitality and tourism majors who would have experience taking courses using the traditional face-to-face mode of instruction and the online mode of instruction. …

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