THE CLOUDLEDGE PLATFORM FOR EDUCATIONAL TOURISM
The paper presents the development of a prototype system for educational tourism in the context of the CLOUDLEDGE (“CLOUD Learning on the EDGE of TOurism and Culture”) project. Educational tourism is an area with significant growth potential, in which ICT technologies and solutions can help create new value-added tourism products and services to advance local economies. The objective of the project is to study, develop, implement and validate new technology-based solutions and business models for educational tourism. We argue that while new technologies offer several advantages, a holistic examination of educational tourism stakeholders and their needs is required, calling for tailored solutions and a combination of training interventions coupled by relevant digital solutions.
To derive the appropriate training service mix, the analysis follows the principles of the Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM). Training strategies must build upon the specific needs and requirements of the application domain, both regarding processes and users targeted. For this reason, there is a need for the development of a new approach, using existing tools and customising others where necessary. To derive the objectives of the system, we investigated the requirements of the application area in question and the affordances of the current state-of-the-art in education and training.
The paper consolidates findings to produce the system requirements and presents the design of a prototype training environment for educational tourism. Following a definition of the objectives of the design process, and the identification of the characteristics of the desired solution, the design of the system is presented.
The proposed cloud-based solution combines market insight with educational content development and ubiquitous and contextualised educational service delivery. For this purpose it combines functionalities for tourist market analysis, learning content development and management, learning service orchestration, management and delivery via a mobile service interface.