THE UNIVERSITY EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AS A FACTOR FOR CREATING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICAL SKILLS IN THE SPHERE OF TOURISM
University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The appearance and development of the information society has been defined by change as a major driving force behind social development. Contemporary change depends on the significance of information as a major resource for all spheres – politics, state governance, economy, education, healthcare, culture. In this context, the term ‘information environment’ is most often used.
There are many questions as for the ways knowledge is acquired, its storage, processing and application in practice. We can safely claim that the development and improvement of the information environment at all its levels of the educational structures has been a major factor for the realization of new educational paradigms that are an element of the university information environment.
The University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (ULSIT) is a Bulgarian university in compliance with the contemporary requirements for current and modern education. It is only logical to say that as a university of the 21st Century, it offers its students the opportunity to study in versatile and up-to-date specialties in the sphere of spiritual values and modern technologies. On the long list of specialties, tourism has its significant place and there has been a great interest in behalf of students. This can be easily explained – Bulgaria is a tourist destination and the dynamically developing tourist industry needs highly-qualified staff.
The paper looks at the teaching method in the course ‘Technology of the Tour Guiding Activities’, which is a blend of theory and practice. After a short introductory theoretical course in the lecture auditoria, the training continues outside in the field trips.The aim is for students to acquire skills to present the landmarks of their country and city in particular in a way that is distinct, memorable and competent. At the start of the training experience, the tutor demonstrates a sightseeing tour of Sofia highlighting the subtleties of presenting, moving in the city techniques and constructing the discourse. At the end of the tour each student receives an assignment to show and speak about a particular place of interest. After a thorough preparation, the student speaks about it in front of his/her colleagues and the tutor. Each of those who have listened to the student’s presentation analyses and assesses his/her performance. Thus, the students play the role of tourists and tour guides gaining practical experience not only from their presentation, but also from the mistakes and achievements of their colleagues.
The job of the tour guide is something practical, it needs to be learned through hands-on experience. Therefore, the university has adopted this way of teaching it, with a significant prevalence of the practical side of training. Real practical skills are built this way, which in combination with theoretical knowledge lead to excellent results. The accumulated practical skills are applied as part of the learning process when students are attracted to study and present iconic cultural landmarks such as the Orthodox Cathedral AleksanderNevski, included on the list of objects as part of the scientific research project ДН15/4 of 11.12.2017
Keywords: University Educational Environment, Creating Professional Practical Skills, cultural heritage, Orthodox monuments.