Learning with companies (LeWiCo) through the use of Facebook in the context of vocational hospitality education & digital spa marketing


  • Annica Isacsson Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland




Facebook, work-based learning, vocational hospitality, education, digital spa marketing


There is still lack of information on how to best implement social media in project collaboration and tourism marketing education despite the fact that social media offer interesting intercultural learning opportunities and enriching learning environments. This article aims to describe an example of an international, collaborative learning project conducted on Facebook in the context of vocational hospitality education/spa marketing. The aim of the Facebook project was to enhance work-based pedagogy, and to construct flow in learning.

The article adopts a case study approach to describe in detail how Facebook was used to foster self-directed and co-constructive learning in a social environment. The findings presented in the article are based on the postings of participating students in Facebook, and on teachers and project team reflections. Overall, the project was a success and led to the construction of a useful, current and engaging knowledge base in the context of spa marketing.

Moreover, the students appreciated the informal learning environment, and the teachers learned how to enhance learning without suffocating the learning process with too many guidelines or information. The students learned how to collaborate independently, and in pairs, and to take responsibility of their own learning.


Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., Rathunde, K., & Wahlen, S. (1993). Talented teenagers. The roots of success and failure. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

Gretzel, U., Isacsson, A., Matarrita, D., & Wainio, E. (2011). Teaching based on TEFI values: A case study. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 11(1), 94–106. doi: 10.1080/15313220.2011.548743

Isacsson, A., & Gretzel, U. (2011). Facebook as an edutainment medium to engage students in sustainability and tourism. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 2(1), 81–90, doi: 10.1108/17579881111112430

Isacsson, A., Alakoski, L., & Bäck, A. (2009). Using multiple senses in tourism marketing: The Helsinki Expert, Eckero Line and Linnanmäki Amusement Park cases. Tourismos: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism, 4(3), 167–184.




How to Cite

Isacsson, A. (2016). Learning with companies (LeWiCo) through the use of Facebook in the context of vocational hospitality education & digital spa marketing. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 6(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.3384/njvet.2242-458X.16611



Magazine article