Summative evaluation of online language learning course efficiency for students studying tourism and hospitality management

Ineta Luka (Turiba University, Riga, Latvia)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Publication date: 8 October 2018



The paper aims to analyse the application of a pedagogy-based approach to designing online language learning courses. It aims to evaluate course efficiency from three perspectives – provider, recipient and wider community perspective and define the extent to which the target course could be applied for developing tourism and hospitality industry students’ and employees’ language competences in Europe.


In line with pragmatism paradigm, a summative/outcome evaluation research in provider, recipient and wider community perspective was conducted in Latvia, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania and Italy. It comprised a focus group interview of 8 language teachers (the provider perspective), a survey of 505 students (the recipient perspective) and a survey of 106 language teachers and 161 industry representatives and 10 expert interviews (the wider community perspective).


The results highlight the main strengths of online learning environments and emphasise the efficiency of the pedagogy-based approach applied in designing an online course. The created courses are beneficial and may be used to foster the development of tourism and hospitality industry students’ and employees’ language competences.

Research limitations/implications

The research sample is composed of language learners from five countries, but it is not proportionally distributed. Another limitation refers to the languages piloted. Further in-depth study concerning less widely used languages is required.

Practical implications

The research results enable understanding certain aspects of designing online language learning courses, provide evaluators’ feedback, suggest the course application for language learning and reveal the European value added.


The research explores the specifics for designing online language learning courses for Languages for Special Purposes for the application in tourism and hospitality industry. The course efficiency and quality are evaluated from provider, recipient and wider community perspective.



The current research has been conducted within the Framework of Erasmus+ project, “Key Skills for European Union Hotel Staff”, 2014-2016, Project No.: 2014-1-HR01-KA2014-007224. The project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Luka, I. (2018), "Summative evaluation of online language learning course efficiency for students studying tourism and hospitality management", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 446-465.

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