Virtual Hospitality, Innovative Learning
Pitparnee Stompor, Clinical Instructor, White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
August 13, 2020
When the curriculum calls for placing beverage orders, juggling staff schedules and running cost margins on the lunch special, it’s challenging to see how classes can be adapted for a virtual environment. Thankfully Pitparnee Stompor, clinical instructor at PNW’s White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM), has been exploring innovative ways of connecting her students to material for years.
“Given our present circumstances, we don’t have the opportunity to manage PNW’s in-house restaurant, so I’ve been working hard to find digital solutions that can offer some of the same engagement experiences,” she says.
Developing a Digital Toolkit
This fall, PNW’s hospitality and tourism management program will embrace technological tools ranging from virtual classrooms to video assignments. They will even demo a simulation program offering students a video game-like environment in which to practice operating a restaurant.
Stompor is confident the range of options will add up to valuable learning for HTM students. She is currently shifting her lab course, HTM 29100 Quantity Food Production and Service, from a face-to-face learning experience to a hybrid in-classroom/virtual format covering everything from bookkeeping to gauging customer needs.
“Our faculty and staff agreed unanimously that we wanted to provide the best learning environments in the safest manner,” she says. “I’m excited to have them participate with these new tools.”
Born and raised in Thailand, Stompor is herself an alumna of PNW’s HTM and MBA programs. She started working as a graduate assistant for HTM lab classes while in her MBA program and hasn’t stopped teaching since. She has always explored new ways of reaching students, even before it became necessary to adapt instruction to a COVID-era environment.
“Different students learn differently,” she says. “Some understand materials right away just from reading a textbook while others need more support. My job is to make sure all learners can understand the materials. Sometimes I even provide snacks as incentives!”
Safety and the student experience have been Stompor’s focus as she navigates this new reality. She is confident going into the fall semester, noting the determination of her students as well as PNW’s strong student-teacher ties.
“These students will do whatever it takes,” she says. “And the connection that we have with our students is priceless. I keep in contact with my students even after they graduate. It’s very rewarding to me to see how much they grow—personally and professionally.”
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PNW professor Bankole Fasanya promotes a flexible approach to learning, incorporating lab activities, real-life experience and convenient remote lectures.