Possibilities of Blended Learning to Develop Orientation and Navigation Skills of Tourism Management Students

Pavlina Chaloupska, Dagmar Hrusova, David Chaloupsky

Orientation and navigation are important skills of tourist guides. The students of a bachelor tourism management study gain a tourist guide licence after they pass all the assignments and the state final exams. The research study approaches the problem of learning orientation. The focus is on possibilities of blended learning to develop orientation and navigation skills of tourism management students within their three-year study. Blended learning enables to introduce advanced technologies such as smart phones, applications, smart watches, or GPS devices. On the other hand, traditional approach uses a paper map and compass in the terrain practice. The aim of the paper was to designate and describe phases of orientation and navigation learning and to design a model, which would effectively combine both traditional and blended learning of orientation and navigation. A pilot study (n = 55) was carried out to evaluate the level of students‘ spatial orientation skills, their self-estimation and to find out their experience with maps and modern IT devices in orientation and navigation. The results of the study were used to support the actual need to make orientation learning process more efficient and attractive. Nowadays tourist guides can hardly do their work without use of information technologies. In common guiding service the navigational devices professionalize the process and in case of extreme situations can help to save lives.