An Evaluation of the Industrial Placement module and its role within Academic Core Curriculum
(2017) An Evaluation of the Industrial Placement module and its role within Academic Core Curriculum, no. 113.
Industrial placements have been argued to be a ''Career Laboratory'' allowing students the opportunity to test and ''try before you buy'' in the prospectus industry which they wish to have a career. (Ducat, 1980) Previous researchers have argued that for students to be successful within the Hospitality and Tourism industry, students must obtain invaluable work experience whilst completing their University undergraduate degrees. (Auburn, 2007) Although the benefit of gaining such experience from an industry perspective has been heavily documented and researched, few academic scholars have assessed the student's perceptions towards industrial work placements and their importance in academic degree programmes. Aim: This research topic analyses students and employer's perceptions toward industrial work placements and identifies the importance it has within Hospitality and Tourism management degree curriculum. Design and Methodology approach: This study follows a mixed methods approach and a comparative research design, using semi structure interviews and questionnaire to obtain data from a sample of eighty-five questionnaire respondents, currently studying a degree at Queen Margaret University International Hospitality and Tourism management degree at Key Findings: Key findings identified the fundamental purpose of Hospitality and Tourism management industrial placements integrated in degree programmes with viewpoint of all three stakeholders; the students, the Hospitality employers and lastly the academic institute lecturer. The is a need however, to establish a more triangulated cooperation between the three. Furthermore, it distinguished that although students believed in the importance of vocational learning they in fact did not acknowledge all the career options available to them in requiring a placement in both industries. Notably, not all students at QMU can gain the same experience do to several students joining the programme in the third academic year. Therefore, those students are not gaining the same invaluable experience as the students who joined the year in the first year. The Hospitality managers expressed their perceived opinion of an ideal industrial placement candidate and facilitated an overall argument of how students currently undertaking their placement may do so. However, the felt that students must understand the basics and need help from academic professionals to secure worthwhile placements to get the best possible experience whilst away from academia. Therefore, this view raises concerns although the industrial placement can benefit the academic institutions and professional employers there is currently still not a direct link between the two working together to develop the placement module and the core consensus necessary to gain the best possible outcome for the students cooperative learning but for students entering the industry. Future Recommendations: The key recommendation for future research, is the need to identify the academic measurement of examination towards the reflective portfolio in which students are examined at the end of their placement. Due to the importance of all three stakeholder's perceptions being vital and there is a need for triangulation, the measurement in which students are examined should also favour this viewpoint. Thus, allowing a moretransparent depiction of how students performed on placement and will enable the academic institute to develop the module for future students who will undertake and industrial placement in year two of the International Hospitality and Tourism Management Degree Programme. In terms of the research the quantitative research could be replicated by other Hospitality Degree courses to extend the sample size and hence validate the findings of this study. To only therefore, compare the findings from students who had undertaken an academic placement and those students who did not. Furthermore, a quantitative based upon the qualitative research could be conducted with respondents from Managers in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.