انگیزش و دانش قبلی به عنوان عوامل موثر بر جذب دانش : توضیح نتایج علمی دانش آموزان گردشگری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5073||2012||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, Volume 11, Issue 2, July 2012, Pages 151–160
Higher education in most European countries has experienced major changes in the last years, and tourism studies have not been an exception. In an attempt to understand more about tourism education in order to better face the new academic framework, the specific goal of this work is to know the influence of students’ motivation and prior knowledge on successful knowledge assimilation. After gathering and analysing data from tourism students, results show that both variables are relevant to explain academic results. Nevertheless, they have a different influence pattern regarding the grades in the final exam and the grades in the learning activities organized during the course.
In most European countries higher education has been recently adapted to the new European educational framework. The homogenization guidelines that stemmed from the Bologna declaration to create the European Space for Higher Education have forced national university educational systems to adapt to the new reality. In Spain, tourism studies have not been an exception in the general trends that higher education in Europe has shown. When considering that all policies implemented under Bologna imply the construction of a whole new system of higher education in Europe (Munar, 2007), this study has been undertaken in order to gather further insight that can be later used in planning the new courses on the Bachelor programmes in tourism and hospitality management. As part of the design of the new curricula in the tourism studies, the present study attempts to provide information on the factors that determine knowledge absorption by the student. Two possible determinants are the axis of this work: the student’s motivation and his/her prior knowledge. The academic results are used as a proxy of knowledge assimilation, but in order to adapt to the spirit of the European Space for Higher Education, these results are measured not only with the grades of the traditional final exams but also with the grades of participative, learning activities organized during the courses. The Sorbonne Declaration of 1998 launched the process of convergence across different national European systems of higher education – the so called Bologna Process – that led, in March 2010, to creating a European Higher Education Area which currently comprises 47 country members and various consultative members. Apart from governments and higher education institutions, all major higher education stakeholders in Europe are involved in the planning and implementation of the Bologna Process, such as the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education, the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, the Council of Europe, and BUSINESSEUROPE. The country members committed to the creation of this European Space for Higher Education have embarked upon processes of harmonization of both academic degree and quality assurance standards by modifying their undergraduate/postgraduate degree structure into a three-cycle system (Bachelor, Master, PhD) with easily readable, comparable and compatible programmes and degrees. In order to improve transparency, comparability and portability of qualifications in Europe (Cort, 2010), the Bologna Process has moved European higher education in a competence-oriented direction through the establishment of the European Qualification Framework (EQF). It is a competence framework that defines standards to all levels of qualifications through the use of curricula descriptors in terms of workload, level, learning outcomes, competences and profile (Bergen Communiqué, 2005). Thus, higher education in most European countries has undergone major changes in the last few years (Masjuan & Troiano, 2008). The main reason for these changes has been the need to adapt to the homogenization guidelines of the Bologna declaration to create the European Space for Higher Education. In Spain and due to this adaptation process, Master and Doctoral programmes were implemented some years ago, but in most universities Bachelor programmes have only been implemented during the academic year 2010–2011. The whole process has not been either easy or problem-free (Munar & Montaño, 2009). For Masjuan and Troiano (2008), this overhaul of programmes should entail a shift from the focus on the traditional teaching of contents, towards the emphasis on students’ own learning. Tourism studies have not been an exception in the general trends that higher education has witnessed in Europe (Munar, 2007), and specifically in Spain. The globalization of the tourism and hospitality industry requires the improvement of the quality of the human resources in order to increase and maintain industrial competitiveness (Chang & Hsu, 2010). Tourism degrees are taught broadly throughout the European Space for Higher Education, but the possibilities for further development of programmes are still high in Europe (Munar, 2007). Though the adoption of common tourism programmes and qualifications across national boundaries in Europe have been hampered by institutional and cultural barriers (Baum, 2007), the Bologna agreement has been a strong impulse in that direction. In the case of Spain and the tourism studies, in terms of curricula reforms there have been some relevant changes from the previous system. The main one being the extension of the Bachelor programmes, which previously composed of 3-year courses and have now been designed to cover 4 years. Apart from this, the improvements in the system also reside in the focus on competences, and particularly on the know-how that may be transferred to any field of knowledge (Caribaño, 2008) and the implementation in the Spanish higher education system of new teaching/learning methods with a student-centered approach (De Juan et al., 2011). For northern European higher education systems where there is a tradition of a student-centered approach, the Bologna reforms have not greatly transformed their higher education as much as in southern European countries (García-Gallego & Blanco-Alonso, 2007). In this study students’ motivation and prior knowledge are reviewed and tested to determine their potential impact on knowledge assimilation. Their analysis of tourism and hospitality management education could fill a relevant research gap. In the next section we review the appropriate literature used to underpin the possible role that students’ motivation and students’ prior knowledge can play in learning and academic success. The discussion in the theoretical part of the work leads to the presentation of the research hypotheses, considering that success in the assimilation of knowledge and in the learning process can be associated to academic results. As the new Bachelor philosophy of the higher education models in Spain fosters the implementation of activities during the course to assess the development of competences along with the (possible) use of final exams, we specify two sets of hypotheses: one considering the influence that these variables can have on final exams, and another where the impact is analyzed on the activities conducted during the course that are subject to formal evaluation. With this approach knowledge assimilation is addressed through two processes: one (the preparation for the final exam) is more related to the assimilation of theoretical knowledge, and the other (the activities during the course) is strongly linked to the development of practice-oriented skills and the assimilation of practical knowledge.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study has tried to analyze the role of students’ motivation and prior knowledge in their learning process facing the new European educational context. Under the principles of the European Space for Higher Education, students should take a very active role in the learning processes (Masjuan & Troiano, 2008). This philosophy can be seen in the increase in the number and scope of activities organized during the course. This is often related to downplaying the role of the final exam as the guiding element of curricular design in order to develop the desired competences and transfer knowledge to the students. In that sense, this study can provide interesting academic and practical implications to improve the design and effectiveness of tourism business management courses in Europe. Motivation and prior knowledge are relevant aspects to consider the ability to assimilate knowledge in the university. In fact, the main results of this work show the relevance of the students’ motivation and prior knowledge in their academic success, in line with previous works that analyze academic performance (e.g., Hulleman and Harackiewicz, 2009 and Kirkness and Neill, 2009). Nevertheless, these outcomes suggest a different influence pattern. Prior knowledge and specifically academic knowledge accumulated in previous levels of education can be a good predictor of obtaining good marks in tourism and hospitality management exams. On the other hand, the quality of more short-term-oriented activities, which rely on the active participation of the students, is influenced by their motivation to engage in the course and the academic approach. Linking the trends in European higher education, and the findings of this work, motivation is a paramount element to bear in mind when facing the new Bachelor degrees under the European guidelines for universities and studies in tourism and hospitality management. This is more so when referring to first-year university students, because they experience a substantial transition from high school that involves increased responsibilities in a new and challenging environment (Stupnisky, Renaud, Daniels, Haynes & Perry, 2008). Adopting a non-trait perspective (Breen & Lindsay, 2002), students’ motivation should be fostered in all stages of the knowledge transfer and competence development process. The strategic design of the course should encompass basic, classical management topics along with new and challenging aspects of managerial trends. As for the more operational design of the activities, apart from the view of the competence development, the need to include motivational elements in the sessions should be highlighted, since the lack of these elements could easily result in the failure of the most rudimentary competences. In the analysis of the students’ motivational dispositions, the role of the professor/lecturer is key, since s/he is responsible to a high extent for showing the usefulness and relevance of the course content. As Morgan and Kingston (2010) found, the lecturer could have a significant impact on student’s motivation. In this sense, the first session of the course should be designed to transmit the theoretical and practical importance of the topics which will be the central part of the course. Materials, activities, pedagogical and evaluation methods, along with the learning context in tourism and business management courses, should be planned in advance without leaving aside the motivational effects of the main decisions to be made. From a more global approach, another thought-provoking implication of this study could be the re-evaluation of the traditional selection process of new students in Europe, which is strongly based on previous academic results without assessing the students’ motivation – for example, measured by the order of preferences for the degree to study – and that perhaps does not fit the new European educational framework. As it has been shown before, the prevalent final exam which is based on remembering and replicating knowledge from written (or oral) sources is not fostered under the spirit of the European Space for Higher Education. However, this evaluation element is extremely popular in European universities and it is usually considered the fairest, easiest and most logical tool to assess the knowledge and competences of tourism and hospitality management students all over continental Europe. In contexts of evaluation where final exams still have a determinant role, admission processes to tourism and hospitality management degrees could rely heavily on past academic records. In addition, the trend towards smaller groups of students in the classroom and the option of personal assistance in teachers’ offices can render possible a more intensive teaching support to students with less brilliant academic achievements in the past. This could be particularly interesting in countries such as Spain and Germany where theoretical lessons are taught in classrooms with many students. Another interesting finding in this work is the role that age and the way the student has accessed the tourism and hospitality degree play in academic success. Older students tend to have consistently more problems in the academic evaluation. Work-study compatibility problems and family responsibilities, as well as the emphasis on theoretical aspects in the development of the course content can perhaps explain that result, since older students often have a more hands-on approach based on the experience. Moreover, perhaps younger students are more likely to retain best practices, approaches and routines associated with academic success than older students, who may have forgotten them. On the other hand, vocational education, other university degrees, and special university access for adults seem to lead to higher academic grades compared to the traditional high school access, since competences developed in the first education systems may better prepare better students for the tourism studies at university level. Though Lee et al. (2008) found female students showed slightly stronger study motivation than male students, in the tourism and hospitality management context no significant influence of gender on academic success has been found in this study. It is also important to outline the main limitations of this work. The use of a questionnaire to collect the data for the independent variables and the sample method can limit the understanding of the studied phenomena without being able to capture its dynamic development, though certain aspects have been mitigated with the methodological design and with the setting chosen for the data gathering. In addition, the cross-sectional method of this work should be followed by a longitudinal approach considering the students’ evolution in the programme. As the student reaches the final courses in the programme, motivation and prior knowledge could have different effects on knowledge assimilation. Moreover, due to the research context the conclusions of the work could only be applied to tourism studies in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and to a lesser degree in other Spanish universities, limiting therefore the generalization of the results to other higher education institutions. Finally, there are more factors that can explain knowledge assimilation and academic success. Consequently, the joint effect of these factors, amongst other things, could have an impact on the nature of the relationships studied here.