“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into innovation.” – Dean Kamen
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
These words spoken by the late, great US President Benjamin Franklin are as immortal as his memory, maintaining meaning and relevance despite centuries of change.
The global population now stands at over 7 billion – a colossal growth from the sparse human density observed in Franklin’s day. We have undoubtedly progressed into an advanced social species, harnessing the power of thought and innovation to build a world that’s technology-rich and increasingly automated. More than 4.19 billion of us are now connected by mobile smart technologies, and with 60 percent of the earth’s human population now relying on mobile phones, industry, business, and above all education, are required to follow suit.
“It’s not about technology, it’s about thinking differently about learning and assessment,” Bob Harrison, creator of the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) report, explains.
“How learners expect to receive training mirrors how our expectations as consumers have changed in recent years: increasingly, we believe that the world should fit around our timetable, and not the other way around.”
For hospitality in particular, this means accommodating new realities and welcoming development. After all, exploration is the engine that drives innovation.
But what is the value of education without the tools, facilities and practical experience to let skills and knowledge sink in? As a school that has officially been named as a TOP5 Institution for Hospitality Management, Les Roches Jin Jiang International Hotel Management College (LRJJ) understands that education should be all-encompassing, feeding off the trends of a fast-pace and increasingly digitalised world.
In line with its pledge to promote the most current and innovative learning methods, the school launched a new education app which was developed by Shanghai based tech start-up 60kou: a mobile-learning platform that grants students access to bitesize training materials anywhere, and at any time.
Research has shown that ‘microlearning’ makes knowledge transfer 17 percent more efficient – a driving factor of LRJJ’s decision to launch this high-tech tool. The app gives students the invaluable power to learn while on the go, feeding them short multi-media insights that are both significant and digestible.
But by no means is teaching innovation limited to smartphone apps – the teachers are encouraged to minimize classic “top-down” teaching and focus on collaborative group work, student presentations and multi-media knowledge transfer, possibly using concepts of gamification and roleplaying.
This concept of “craft-based-learning” is supported by facilities such as the buffet service restaurant, a demonstration kitchen for F&B Masterclasses and a housekeeping mock-up room. Opportunities in the hotel business are largely built on applying theoretical knowledge in a real working environment. Acknowledging the importance of real-world practice for landing high-level jobs, LRJJ lays on an abundance of career and internship placements. The Career Development & Industry Placement (CDIP) Department ensures every placing is an asset to your respective field, asserting your experience as current and industry-relevant long before you enter the working world.
Aside from internships, students can experience Hospitality Management first hand through taking part in events with collaborating premium brands in Shanghai such as Shangri-La, Formula 1 Racing or Grand Hyatt.
The school’s exclusive combination of practical, intercultural and tech-focused education is a significant draw for prospective international and domestic students alike. Maria Trishina, a Russian student currently on Internship at the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai, says: “I chose Les Roches Jin Jiang because it has a long and outstanding reputation and Shanghai as a global hospitality hub happens to be a great learning environment.”
And the best thing is that LRJJ students are in incredibly high-demand among industry professionals, with more than 200 students taking on an average of two to three work placements each year. Former students have gone on to work at some of the world’s most luxurious and prominent brands, be it in Hotel Management, Luxury Retail or Events. LRJJ maintains excellent and extensive relations with key industry players around the globe, making it easier for students to gain quality internship placements and full-time employment.
“I often ask the candidates for our teaching positions to tell me the difference between lecturing and teaching, but most could not answer correctly,” says Michael Bao, Dean of the College.
“To me, lecturing is something a teacher does, regardless of whether students understand what was said (teacher centered). Teaching, on the other hand, happens when students learn from the teacher whether it’s inside or outside of the classroom (student centered). ” he explains.
“We try to inherit this student-centered approach at everything we do here at LRJJ.”
And in terms of innovation, this school stands at the forefront of a growing, global shift. Here, the outdated tendency to ‘learn by the book’ makes way for a modern approach to education: one that engages, elevates and inspires.