Hospitality student learning styles: The impact of gender and nationality

Other literature type English OPEN
Barron, Paul ; Watson, Sandra (2006)
  • Publisher: Institute for Tourism
  • Journal: Turizam : međunarodni znanstveno-stručni časopis, volume 54, issue 4 (issn: 1332-7461, eissn: 1849-1545)
  • Subject: comparative learning styles; hospitality education; Scotland; Australia
    acm: ComputingMilieux_COMPUTERSANDEDUCATION

Hospitality and tourism education at degree level is increasing in popularity for both home and international students and it has been argued that the student body is becoming more diverse. One consequence of the increased popularity of such programmes is the increasing cultural mix in the contemporary classroom in western countries. Consequently, academic staff are increasingly faced with teaching multicultural classes that comprise students with a range of preferred learning styles. Within the context of changes in the hospitality and tourism educational environment in Australia and the UK, this paper provides a comparative analysis of learning styles of students studying hospitality and tourism programmes in these two countries. Firstly, this paper compares the learning style preferences of students studying in Scotland and Australia and highlights how an understanding of students' preferred learning styles could improve their educational experience. Secondly, it analyses the impact that students' gender and nationality has on learning style preferences. The results indicate that certain groups of students possess learning style preferences that are at odds with their peers and consequently may have difficulty in learning effectively when, for example, tackling group projects. The results of this research also celebrate diversity and highlight the advantages to students of sharing their educational experience with students from other cultures and recognising the benefits of working with peers who adopt a learning style different from their own. The paper concludes with a discussion of the importance of understanding students' learning styles in relation to curricula development, assessment methods and the achievement of deeply processed material.
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