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Embracing the future – opportunities for tourism, hospitality and events educators abound.

students-at-table-learning

We believe that potential – which we call  adaptive learning" – exists.

Traditionally, education in Tourism, Hospitality and Events has been one of the few areas in which educators introduced students to business management theories and concepts in an applied manner using practical laboratories. 

These laboratories often mandated vast investment in practical facilities including restaurants, bars, kitchens, hotel reception areas, hotel rooms and concierges.

Yet despite the years of leading the way in innovative and applied teaching, educational establishments in the TH&E space seem slow to embrace modern teaching technologies and practices.  Is this sluggishness due to the industry's practical nature influencing the pedagogy, are educators in the industry uncomfortable with the new technology uses, or both?

What if approaches to learning and instruction were individualised to better serve the needs of the individual learner?  What if students could access more personalised and immediate feedback and instruction – just enough to help them succeed through a course and give them the confidence to know that they can succeed in college?  We believe that potential – which we call ‘adaptive learning’ – exists. Gates Foundation March 2013


What role will technology play in individualising the education experience?  Three broad areas that can serve learners better are innovations that facilitate teaching and learning, social media, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which usually incorporate the first two areas.

1. Innovations that facilitate teaching and learning:

2. Social Media includes sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus+

3. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) include Coursera and Alison, for example

Many industries embrace new technologies in their teaching and learning processes.  Aviation and shipping, for example, have pilots complete the vast majority of their license or endorsement in commercial simulators.  It seems that few TH&E educators or institutions have taken such a leap of faith as to fully embed technological innovations that go this far.

Tourism and hospitality is possibly one industry that lends itself readily to teaching outside of the box. Innovative technologies that use clever content creation and incorporate experiential learning can provide a substantially greater learning experience than the traditional classroom setting. 

Imagine teaching destination management with a flexible teaching tool that simulates any one of a thousand or more destinations that students could choose from, and then adapts in real time to their level of knowledge to provide a personal learning experience.  Imagine enhancing this simulation by then linking through a collaborative technology to exchange ideas in real time with service providers, agencies and educators in that destination.

Come on TH&E educators, the world is your oyster, have at it!

Authored by Mr Alan Williams, ASM, co-authored by Prof Jamie Murphy & Dr Peter Ryan, ASM