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Interactive Hypermedia Programs in Hotel Service Professionals Training

interactive programs in hypermedia training hoteliers

Summary

This article discusses the phenomenon of Globalization and some of its repercussions on the economy of our country, also discusses the use of interactive hypermiditic programs to qualify the competencies related to the good performance of waiter and receptionist functions for restaurants, hotels and inns of all categories . It also discusses the use of hypermedia technology for the transmission of knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Key words

Training, Hypermedia, Waiter, Front Desk, Hotel and Food & Beverage.

Introduction

environment interface trainer for mise-en-place drag and drop the items to the correct position

The Globalization phenomenon has unleashed a series of advantages and some problems in the economy of nations, Dr. Jaime Ricardo Venezuela Gonzáles warned that: “Globalization is a phenomena free of ideology, like atomic physics” (Gonzales, 2000). Thus, one can understand atomic physics as an instrument that can be used to save lives or to strike cities. It is not part of the scope of this article to discuss Globalization. However, one of its influences is directly impacting on the so-called hospitality Industry of our country. Dr. David B. Hardy recently, in a conference, recalled that “the richest resources of a nation are no longer in the soil or in the buildings but in its citizens” (Hardy, 2000). One of the advantages that Globalization has brought is that direct competition between the countries that produce technology or products is triggering the discovery of the true “vocation” of each country. Can we compete on equal terms, for example, with the Germans in the construction of cars? Or with the Americans in chip development and production? With the Chinese in the production of trinkets? If the answer to these questions was negative, we must ask ourselves: what will be our true vocation? What products or services can we offer that will really set us apart from the rest of the nations on this planet that Marchall McLuhan called the Global Village?

It is not intended to be wordy or redundant citing the natural beauty, rich culture and idiosyncrasies of this nation, like the endless beaches, wetlands, tropical forests carnival and not end tourist attraction poles. However, as can be read on the back cover of the CD-ROM “Front Desk – How to Answer the Guest in Hotel reception”:

It may seem redundant to speak of hospitality for such a hospitable people, but the truth is that this concept goes beyond the human warmth idea.
STEFANELLI, et al 1999

The Hospitality Industry is considered to be the largest licit industry in the world. The extraordinary resources that she moves annually only lose, in volume, to the Mafia and the Narcotics. However, in spite of its natural beauties and cultural riches, Brazil occupies a humble position in the ranking of the countries that attract these resources. There are a number of initiatives that need to be put in place to reverse this situation, one of which is to professionalize labor to welcome and interact with tourists. Valmor Bolan warned that “without education it is impossible for a particular people and nation to improve their potential and offer material, cultural and spiritual improvements for future generations” (BOLAN, nd), this spirit was rescued by the direction of the Odebrecht Foundation, Created the Institute of Hospitality. The purpose of this Institute is to produce instructional materials to rapidly train people of varying levels of schooling to work in this industry; The other option would be to import the abundant and capable human material available abroad.

The Use of Hypermedia in Knowledge acquisition, Skills and Attitudes

Several efforts have been going in our country to conquer a prominent place in the market of hospitality, we will describe, from this point on, one of these efforts in which this author participated actively. The quantity and quality of educational materials available abroad is huge, they range from brochures, to educational CD-ROM, through movies and audio, as long ago other nations realized the potential of tourism. However, for the training of attitudes, these materials are not suitable because of the peculiarities of our way of communicating are not covered by foreign materials.

The Interactive Languages Group Research Center of New Communication Technologies Applied to Education – The School of the Future of the University of São Paulo, coordinated by Dr. Alexander Romiszowski was commissioned to develop three products that fulfill the role of empowering people of various levels of education to act as receptionists in hotels, waiters or attendants of travel agencies. In this effort, too, the Federal Center of Technological Education São Paulo – CEFET-SP, TTS Consultants – Rio de Janeiro and the Hospitality Institute – Salvador, Bahia.

Multimedia

Aiming at the rapid acquisition of knowledge and attitudes, it was decided to use interactive multimedia technology to produce this material.

“The term multimedia was first used to describe the transmission of information using multiple media and multiple meanings. “In its broadest sense the term multimedia refers to the presentation or retrieving information that is made, with computer assistance, so multisensory, integrated, intuitive and interactive” (KEYS, 1991). The multisensory presentation means that more than one human sense is involved in the process. “(STEFANELLI, 1999)

Multimedia is only feasible thanks to modern computer ability to store, process and transmit this information as: sound, still images or moving (movies, animations, simulations, etc.), hypertext, among other media.

Research conducted by the army of the United States of America and IBM have demonstrated that the use of educational programs using this technology reduces learning time and improves its quality, while the treated concepts remain longer in the learner’s memory.

The main strategy of the media is to provide an environment rich in challenges and motivations which the student seeks the information proactively, following your rhythm and your curiosity. These are in the form of concepts, simulations, examples, counterexamples, demonstrations, comparisons, contrasts, intelligent exercises, practices, and other educational strategies that lead the student to appropriate the proposed knowledge individually, but controlled by the system , becoming self-taught and main agent of their learning.

Front Desk – How to Answer the Guest in Hotel Reception

This program is part of the Hotels and Inns series and its objective is to train, in a fast, efficient and playful way, people with high school equivalent to perform functions in reception of hotels and inns (Figure 1 – CD-ROM Cover : Front Desk – How to Answer the Guest in Hotel reception).In addition to the knowledge and skills required for this, this program works the attitudes of the receptionists in front of the guests. For that, we analyzed the work routines of a hotel belonging to a chain of internationally recognized service standards. This program is packaged on a CD-ROM and its strategy is to provide the learner with an environment where he can retrieve information following his or her curiosity. This information is contained in several media (films, animations, narrations, texts, hypertexts, etc.), but the most used media were realistic films taken at the reception of a hotel with professional receptionists interacting with transvestite actors of guests, Demonstrate in a natural way the attitudes of this receptionist in front of the guest.

The main characteristic of the work of the receptionist is not to be developed in a linear way, that is, the moment that he is face to face with the guest dozens of possibilities of procedure are forming and it is up to him to master all these possibilities and choose the More appropriate. For this, a system was developed that allows the student to decide which procedure he wants to study in the multiple choice moments. It will be exemplified with a part of the exchange procedure, where at some point the receptionist should ask if the amount to be exchanged is in the form of traveler’s check, currency or bank check; To perform this procedure correctly there is a need to know the standard procedure for each of these forms. For that, a system was developed that presents the film in a non-linear way in which the interacting agent decides in key moments the procedure he wants to know.

Capa do CD-ROM: Front Desk – Como Atender o Hóspede na Recepção do Hotel

Figure 1 – Cover CD-ROM: Front Desk – How to Answer the Guest in Hotel reception

This program also addresses the personal presentation of the interacting agent, guest security, organization of the workplace, telephone service (Figure 2 – “Front Desk”), receiving faxes, dealing with people with disabilities, dealing with With complaints, and specific procedures such as: check-in, check-out, reservations, concièrge, apartment changes, paid out, prolongation of stay among other occurrences of the present context.

Another characteristic of this program is to write in a file the performance of the student in the solution of the proposed exercises. Then, an instructor can remotely observe whether he has gone through all the subjects and can verify the difficulty of the interacting agent in solving each exercise by means of the number of attempts to do so and the answers given in each of them. The program also offers feedbacks, reinforcing the treated content.

Interface do ambiente “Atendimento Telefônico” – Front Desk

Figure 2 – Environment Interface “Telephone Service” – Front Desk

The pedagogical strategy chosen was the one that deals with the use of an elegant interface, where the explanations of the subjects are given through narrations providing an environment that, at times, looks like the conversation between friends.

Service in the Restaurant -Waiter and the Art of Good Service

The purpose of this program is to train, in a fast, efficient and fun way, people with a first-level equivalent prerequisite to serving as waiters in hotels or restaurants (Figure 3 – CD-ROM Cover: Attendance at the Restaurant – The Waiter and The Art of Serve Well). In addition to knowledge and attitudes, this program also works out the skills needed to train a waiter. We analyzed the work routines of several restaurants belonging to a chain of hotels whose standard of service is recognized internationally. This program is packaged in a CD-ROM and its strategy is to provide the apprentice with an attractive environment in which he can search for the information, following his curiosity. This information is contained in several media, but we mainly use simulation as a learning strategy.

Capa do CD-ROM: Atendimento no Restaurante

Figure 3 – Cover CD-ROM: Service at Restaurant
The Waiter and the Art of Serving Well

The main features of the work of a waiter are: to recognize dozens of objects ranging from specific cutlery to the final appearance of dishes to be served; be able to perform tasks ranging from setting the table to properly open a bottle of wine; and form an inter-relationship with customers as to be able to suggest a dish, but without invading the space of the client. So we developed a program where, in a playful and interactive way, the learner has access to all this information, allowing him to recognize the objects of his daily use, to recognize and practice the activities of his daily life and to demonstrate the way Correct and incorrect way of addressing a customer, all of which enhances the appearance of the sale of restaurant products. As an example of this strategy, one may cite the mise-en-place procedure: in this environment the interacting agent first makes contact with what is mise-en-place, then he chooses to see several examples of mise- Place, one wants to know how to recognize the proper position of each utensil at the table; If you want to know why these positions; If you want to watch a movie with a professional performing a mise-en-place (it is known that an adult is able to put objects on a table, as this ability he acquired spontaneously throughout his life, however the purpose of this film is Of awakening in the apprentice the care with which the professional manipulates these utensils, without touching parts that go to the mouth of the client); If you want to practice a mise-en-place; Or if you want to be evaluated in the organization of a table.

Interface do ambiente “Aparador” – Atendimento no Restaurante

Figure 4 – Environmental Interface “credenza” – Service in restaurant

This program also addresses aspects of personal presentation, customer safety, telephone service, interaction with people with disabilities, and specific strategies to control situations involving complaining clients. He works with different knowledge such as the items on a sideboard (Figure 4 – Interface of the environment “Sideboard” – Service in the Restaurant), the specifics between meals, who to prioritize during the service, the perfect completion of the command, to use the system of Numbered seats. It works specific procedures like: beverage service, couvert, entrances, main delivery, aperitif, digestive, coffee, dessert, collection, correct organization of waiting list, customer reception at the door, goodbyes, among other attitudes.

Another feature of this program is to write to a file student performance in solving the proposed exercises and procedures, and later an instructor you can see if it went through all the issues, and you can see the the difficulty of interacting to solve each exercise, through the number of retries for this and of the responses to each of them.

The pedagogical strategy was to use a friendly interface where the explanations of the subjects are given, usually through stories and written texts, working is thus also the quality of the writing of this professional.

Conclusion

Direct competition between products, fostered by globalization, demonstrates that we should be concerned mainly with the items that we have and that can be considered differential. Many are these items in a continental country, rich in talent and resources like ours; however, tourism is perhaps the most decentralized resource and labor-absorbing work with all specializations. However, this market requires highly specialized people. Efforts in this direction are observed here and there. The example of the University of Grande ABC – UniABC, which in 1999 started a course aimed at Hospitality professionals and recently acquired the products listed in this article to enable its graduates to use-tools like these to disseminate knowledge the skills and attitudes necessary to lead this country to its deserved position in the global hospitality market.

Bibliographic references

Bolan, Valmor. Brazil: Vocation Humanist Democratic and multiracial. Guarulhos: Sao Paulo Ind Gráfica e Editora, sd..

KEYS, Eduardo. Multimedia: Concepts, Applications and Technology. Campinas: People Computer 1991.

GONZÁLES, Jaime Ricardo Venezuela lecture in: VII International Congress EAD. Sao Paulo: ABED 2000

HARDY, David I. B .: lecture in: VII International Congress EAD. Sao Paulo: ABED 2000

STEFANELLI, José Eduardo. Et al. Interactive CD-ROM: Service in the restaurant – Waiter and Serving Art Well Sao Paulo: Research Center of New Communication Technologies Applied to Communication School of the Future of USP & Hospitality Institute. 1999.

STEFANELLI, José Eduardo. Et al. Interactive CD-ROM: Front Desk – How to Answer the Guest in Hotel reception. São Paulo: Search of New Communications Technologies Center Applied to Communication School of the Future of USP & Hospitality Institute, 1999.

STEFANELLI, Eduardo José. The Use of Multimedia for Teaching the Geometric Design. In: Math UniABC Notebook, p 49-58, Year 1, No. 4, 1999.

Eduardo Stefanelli

Engenheiro por profissão, professor por vocação

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