The past two weeks found us showcasing selected project works of students of the Hospitality Management Department, TTU. All the projects focused on generating innovative products from common Ghanaian staple foods. My understanding is that other students have also carried out project works in Front Office and Food and Beverage Service and Food Science.
In welcoming back Dr. Mrs. Frances Fraikue onto the platform I want to first satisfy my curiosity on student projects.
HOST: Thank you Dr. Mrs. Fraikue for availing yourself to this platform once again. I have had some questions posed to me from the Part 2 features (including its continuation). I would like us to clear those before we continue.
What type of projects do students carry out in the areas of ‘Front Office’, ‘Housekeeping’, ‘Food and Beverage Service’ or Human resource issues in hospitality operations?
GUEST: Students undertake project works under the above areas stated.
Examples of topics include…meal experience of customers and repeat visit intentions, reasons why people eat out in restaurants, employee motivation and its effect on productivity, management of conflicts among staff in hotels. Challenges affecting employees in the housekeeping section in the execution of duties, assessing the impact of ethics at the front office, evaluating the usefulness of technology in the rooms division, among others.
HOST: Do we have student projects making headways into industry or they are purely academic exercises?
GUEST: Several students have advanced their project work; currently two students who worked on sweet potato weanimix supply hospitals and some super markets with their products. Another has opened a bakery in the Eastern region where she supplies lots of people with other cereal bread apart from wheat. Others have established their own eatery and food joints.
HOST: Wow! That’s good to know!
The impact of the corona virus pandemic on teaching and learning
HOST: Facilitating and or teaching students using the traditional format, that is, before covid-19, forcing you to work remotely from home had its challenges. Now most lecturers are to ensure effective teaching and learning from their laptops, with a camera and microphone. We must be moving towards a digital age of learning. What demands will this make on both students and lecturers?
GUEST: The use of blended learning has been beneficial, it has promoted lots of creativity among staff and students.
Lecturers give and receive assignments online and students now take their Computer Literacy lectures more serious than before.
HOST: As a lecturer, in a classroom you can stand up, move around, draw on the board and flip chart, but with e-learning, correct me if I am wrong, you are glued to one location. How does this affect effective teaching?
GUEST: It’s not a problem because we do not use one method for online lectures. Apart from google classroom, we use zoom, schoology, WhatsApp video and audio, campus radio, YouTube etc.
HOST: Goodness, there’s a whole lot happening than I thought! I will need some orientation on these some other time.
You collated students’ views a few months ago, has anything changed from either of the columns (advantages and disadvantages)?
Our Students’ Views
|The use of google classroom is easily accessible.||Bad network connection disrupts the lectures on googles classroom.|
|Reduces tension and panic associated with rushing to class.||Technical problems of students’ mobile phone is a setback.|
|It has made communication easier.||Power outage is a constant challenge especially when using Wi-Fi|
|There is easy access to notes and assignments given to students||Teaching aids are not used during google classroom lectures.|
|It encourages students to be time conscious and punctual.||Allocated time for lectures is not fully used.|
|It saves students from transportation fares.||Cost on data bundle is too high for students.|
|It saves time and energy on the part of both staff and students.||There is difficulty discussing ‘Practicals’ on google classroom|
|Recorded lectures are easily replayed by students to reinforce learning.|
GUEST: For some months now, the school Wi-Fi is super stable and students no longer complain about data. Many more students now have smart phones and they use them for registration of courses, checking of results, online classes etc.
HOST: Great! You also collated observations on the effect of blended learning, made by your Lecturers as follows:
|During face to face lectures, students understand the topics very well|
|It is effective but draws lecturers back. Lecturers have to go back and explain all online notes to students.|
|Students still prefer face to face as against online lectures because the feel of having a lecturer in front of them teaching is more interactive.|
|There is the need to record practical demonstrations for students to view online as a way to reduce face to face contact.|
|Practicals organized for students have reduced drastically due to track system lectures.|
|Institutions should ensure that wi-fi connectivity is always available because both staff and students buy their own data for use almost all the time.|
HOST: On the whole, comparing students’ views and observations of Lecturers, I get the impression that face to face lectures is preferable. However, since technology is making deep inroads into education globally we must all be ready embrace the challenges. What are your views?
GUEST: Students prefer the blended learning; they are able to play back lectures because they are recorded. Practicals are viewed as simulation and change has come to stay.
HOST: Wonderful! Our new norms, particularly with e-learning has come to stay. Thank you so much, Dr. Mrs Fraikue.
TTU Hosts Institute of Hospitality Conference (October 2019)