Mind the Gap: Exploring Hospitality Teachers’ and Student Interns’ Perception of Using Virtual Communities for Maintaining Connectedness in Internship

Liwei Hsu

Abstract


Considerable attention has been given to the relationship between internship and hospitality education and positive results have been extracted. More and more hospitality programs worldwide emphasize the necessity of internship; nevertheless, intern students always considered the lack of support from academic staff as a major challenges for teachers to overcome and virtual community can be exploited as a venue to provide such assistance. The present study surveyed 230 teachers and 660 intern students of hospitality programs in Taiwan and discovered significant differences existed between hospitality teachers and their intern students in terms of their perception about satisfaction, sense of belonging as well as effectiveness of using virtual communities to maintain the connectedness among the teacher and students. When two major social media are compared when being exploited as the platforms for interactions, again, significant differences were discovered with respect to the participants’ satisfaction, sense of belong and effectiveness of using Facebook, Line and two of them. Scheffe’s Post-hoc further reported that participants’ satisfaction with Line was greater than Facebook and their sense of belonging toward the class and effectiveness were stronger when Facebook and Line were used at the same time. Limitations and recommendations for future research are also included in the end of this manuscript.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jet.v4i1.10933

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