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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg November 28, 2016

Evaluation of formality and informality of the learning context

The case of online training courses about tourism destinations

Asta Adukaite, Lorenzo Cantoni and Nadzeya Kalbaska

Zusammenfassung

Destinations-Management-Organisationen greifen seit jüngster Zeit auf Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien für Weiter-bildungszwecke zurück. Der Sinn dahinter ist, Reisekaufleute, Reiseberater und Reiseanbieter fortzubilden, um es ihnen zu ermöglichen, eine spezifische Destination und ihre Attraktionen besser zu vermitteln und zu verkaufen. Dieser Beitrag befasst sich mit formellen und informellen Perspektiven des Lernens und bezweckt in erster Linie, die aktuellen eLearning-Kurse zum Thema Touristendestinationen hinsichtlich ihrer formellen und informellen Lern-Erfahrungen einzuordnen. Zweitens sollen in diesem Beitrag die Auffasungen der Reisekaufleute zum Thema der Lern-Erfahrung durch formelle und informelle Lernerfahrungen aufgezeigt werden, die von einer regionalen Schweizer Destination angeboten werden. Hinsichtlich der hergestellten Lernsoftware könnte man solche Kurse als formelles Lernen betrachten, da die Inhalte nach strikten Vorgaben gestaltet und strukturiert sind und ein finaler Test/Zertifikat vorgesehen ist. Bezieht man sich jedoch auf die Perspektive der Nachfragenden – also beispielsweise auf die tatsächlichen Lernerfahrungen der Reisekaufleute – lassen sich einige informelle Lernpraktiken und –Details erkennen. Dazu gehören beispielsweise die Spontaneität, sich ebenso für einen Kurs, wie auch für dessen Veranstaltungsort und Zeitraum, zu entscheiden. Die Erkenntnisse dieser Studie tragen zu einem tieferen Verständnis der Aspekte formellen und informellen Lernens bei, die für die Wissensbildung von Reise- und Touristikspezialisten über touristische Destinationen relevant sind.

Abstract

Destination Management Organizations recently have started to use Information Communication Technologies for educational purposes: to train and educate travel agents, travel consultants, and tour operators in order for them to sell a specific destination and its attractions in a better way. The paper addresses the formal and informal learning perspectives and, firstly aims to map current eLearning courses about tourism destinations according to formal or informal learning experiences they offer. Secondly, perceptions on the learning experience of travel agents who attended an eLearning course offered by a Swiss regional destination are presented. Considering the produced courseware, such courses may be considered as formal learning, because contents are strictly designed and structured, and usually a final test/certificate is foreseen. However, when it comes to the demand side – i.e. the actual learning experience of travel agents – various informal learning practices and features are identified, such as spontaneity of the decision to take the course or location and timing of course attendance. The findings of this study contribute to an enhanced understanding of formal and informal learning aspects in the process of knowledge construction about tourism destinations for travel and tourism professionals.

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Published Online: 2016-11-28
Published in Print: 2016-5-24

© 2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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