Travel and Tourism/Case Study - Creative and Innovative Tourism Product for the TTRA European Chapter Conference "Creative and Innovative Tourism" in France, April 2011
Case study by Hilary Jenkins
It is hoped that the presentation of this case study in an international forum will attract further collaboration not only from educational institutes, but from industry sources. This case study is an investigation into a creative and innovative educational programme which introduces a new method of integrating learning, discloses how this is being done and invites you to contribute to its growth through collaboration and participation.
Located on the south east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Dunedin is a city nestled in tree-clad hills at the head of a spectacular harbour. It is the main centre of, and the gateway to, the Otago region. It has a population of 123,000 people, 25,000 of those are students.
Dunedin is also the primary base of Otago Polytechnic, a public New Zealand tertiary educational institute with campuses throughout the region of Otago including Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown.
Otago Polytechnic focuses on skills based, technical education and occupational training, offering a range of New Zealand accredited degrees, diplomas and certificates in many areas of interest, including tourism. (Wikipedia, 2011).
The School of Applied Business offers two products/programmes (one building on the skills of the previous) in applied travel and tourism. These series of short courses offer students an introduction to, and specialisation in, particular areas of tourism. Students gain practical hands on skills for front-line and supervisory levels of the travel and tourism sector. http://wikieducator.org/Travel_and_Tourism. Students are continually exposed to experiential teaching and practices (specialist classroom) including assessment in a commercial environment and fieldtrips to tourism hotspots.
In March 2007 the School of Applied Business - Travel and Tourism section applied for and successfully gained project funding (from a contestable fund) towards the development of a higher level, two year local diploma. The monies to be used in conjunction with the upgrading/development of teaching resources, improvement of flexible delivery methods and dedicated staff time allocation for development.
The new diploma replaced a one year National Certificate in Travel and Tourism. The framework underpinning the diploma was purchased from another education provider through membership of Tertiary Accord New Zealand (TANZ) a collaboration of six New Zealand polytechnics. The mission/purpose of Tertiary Accord of New Zealand is to work collaboratively as an accord to identify, design, develop, deliver and evaluate applied vocational quality products for tertiary learners (TANZ Strategy Paper 2006 – 2011). Membership of the accord allows access to the curricula of all the members, as well as the opportunity for shared collaborative academic, business, and international development activity.
At the end of 2010 the two year diploma programme was again changed, this time it was split into two separate, one year programmes; Certificate in Applied Travel and Tourism (Level 3) and Diploma in Applied Travel and Tourism (Level 5). This was a strategic move in line with the New Zealand Government’s educational policies around capping (restricting the number of funded students per educational institute) and success and retention rates. A selection process was put in place on the certificate (previously open entry) and entry criteria put in place for the diploma.
So what makes this educational programme in particular any different or any more creative or innovative than those already offered world-wide? Both programmes the certificate and the diploma, are offered to students through blended delivery – a mixture of face to face and online delivery. Unlike traditional learning platforms offered in education, the open internet platform (through Wikieducator) does not rely on enrolment for student access but is open for anyone to access, anytime and anywhere. However students must be enrolled to gain the qualification from the polytechnic.
Why use an open platform?
According to Deputy Chief Executive Robin Day, the polytechnic is trying to be more open, more sharing, more responsive to the community and Wikieducator helps to meet this criteria. There is, he said, a shift to focus more on learners, rather than teachers and institutional control.
The options for image enhancement, linking, RSS feed, tagging and using all forms of Web 2.0 software are also expanded using Wikieducator.
However what open platform to use is also open for discussion. According to Leigh Blackall, who was part of the original team involved with the development project and now works as Educational Developer, at the University of Canberra. Wikieducator was originally intended by Educational Development Centre project managers, to be a transition space for staff to become familiar with Media Wiki, before moving their work onto the Wikiversity and other Wiki Media Foundation project spaces.
In July 2009, Wikieducator, an independent entity, was headquartered at the new International Centre for Open Education at Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin. (Wikieducator – 2011)
Blackall argues that using Wikiversity affords direct links from related Wikipedia articles, giving much larger exposure, and a stronger compulsion to engage with Wikipedia in a way that would see students and staff editing and maintaining one of the top 10 most visited websites in the world.
“Moving off Wikieducator as our primary course management space would create some tension with Otago Polytechnic Management, Mr Blackall said but we must acknowledge that engaging with the wider Internet, directly where most people know it, is ultimately best for students and staff learning and professional development”.
Hand in hand with the use of an open platform is the need for an Intellectual Property Policy which reflects the “preference for the open sharing of information, knowledge and resources: while also being in harmony with the polytechnic’s philosophy of looking at learning from the learner’s perspective and initiatives such as recognition of prior learning. (Robin Day) The policy enables easy engagement with different ways of teaching and learning through the internet, such as on wikis, blogs, YouTube, Facebook.
Re-usability of an open educational resource is ensured by a copyright license that uses limited, if any, restrictions, and secondly by its format. An educational resource with all copy rights reserved, and whose publisher has moved on, is rendered difficult to use, or a non re-usable resource. A resource with a Creative Commons Attribution license on the other hand will always remain a re-usable resource. (Bronwyn Hegarty – 2011)
Back in 2007 Otago Polytechnic instituted an Intellectual Property Policy, vesting ownership of intellectual property (IP) in the creators, while promoting the use of free copyrights and open development through the preferred use of the NZ Creative Commons Attribution copyright license. The CC By NZ license allows others to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the work as long as credit is given to the original author. Because this license won’t suit all circumstances, there’s provision in the Polytechnic's IP Policy for negotiation exceptions to the CC By NZ default.
To ensure the values of New Zealand’s Maori are protected, and to accommodate a different concept of ownership, a Maori IP policy was developed in consultation with the local Maori Ngai Tahu law office. Broadly speaking, the Polytechnic’s role in this area is one of guardianship (kaitiakitanga – care and protection) of Maori IP and knowledge. The concept of guardianship has also been extended to students’ IP. (Wikibooks - 2010)
Open Educational Resources
The programme’s design and use of open education resources and social media provides flexible avenues for enhancing student learning and encouraging their participation in the creation of new resources. http://wikieducator.org/Tourist_Destinations/Activities/Factfile
There are three key attributes required for an open educational resource. These are; accessibility (ease of obtaining and using), re-usability - permissions and formats which enable others to use the resource that is, portability, interoperability - enables exchange of information between different systems. (Bronwyn Hegarty – 2011)
The programme also tries to incorporate the concepts of social responsibility, by actively designing and delivering activities that directly advance social and educational goals (Wikipedia – 2011)
Communities of Learning
Use of Wikieducator or any open access platform has the potential to progress the building of community, or circles of learning for educational providers, faster and more easily. This may be the single most important reason why educators will choose to use Wikieducator and is vital to the successful use of Wikieducator. It is these communities of learning which may well become the first audience even before the enrolled students. They can contribute, critique, supply feedback, and support and encouragement and influence the quality of the resources.
Through the Wikieducator development collaborative relationships with TAFE New South Wales - Illawarra Institute, Canberra Institute of Technology, Australia and Michigan State University in the United States of America, have been formed.
There has also been initial communication with the Tasmanian Polytechnic in Australia. Resource Development Manager for Flexible Learning, Kirsty Sharp says tourism staff are very keen to explore possibilities for collaboration. The Tasmanian Polytechnic tourism area is in the introductory stages of using wikis, however access to these is still closed (students must be enrolled).
Otago Polytechnic, School of Business, Programme Manager for the diploma, visited Melbourne, Australia in November 2010 to meet with Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE (similar to our polytechnics). Meetings were held with tourism, hospitality and industry liaison staff, regarding future collaboration and shared development of resources. The Morwell campus delivers tourism and hospitality courses however these are delivered in a model closer to what Otago Polytechnic was delivering in 2006. There was however keen interest from TAFE staff around the sharing and development of resources and possibly the exchange of students.
It is hoped the presentation of the case study in an international forum will attract further collaboration not only from educational institutes but from industry sources.
Wikieducator as a marketing tool.
The travel and tourism wiki by its global internet presence can and is used as a marketing tool for the programme and Otago Polytechnic website. The wiki is complimented by the use of weblogs which act as an interface for students while also providing another visual, interactive component for the marketing toolbox.
As part of the blended delivery around 11 blogs have been created, each supporting and linked to a short course, on the programme. In the first half of the course the blogs are used as an information channel for students; who can make comments but cannot post to the blog. In the second half of the course they are invited to contribute to the blog by posting. Students are often asked to summarise what has happened in a class session or post photos they may have taken as part of a class activity. Lecturers report that students seem to enjoy the technical interaction which also builds on their writing, editing and marketing skills, according to lecturers. People from outside the programme post comments on the blog eg. professional tour guides, and those wanting opportunities to join the programme. An annual summary of the success or not of these blogs is available http://tourguiding.wordpress.com/ which offers a general feedback and some statistical data for perusal.
Other open access sites are also used to store resources for the programme eg. Slideshare and Flickr. The programme has 71 powerpoint presentations on Slideshare, while photos and video are stored on Flickr. These resources have been given the CC – creative commons attribution and are available for public use.
Another interface used as a marketing tool is the social networking site Facebook – here a visual representation of the practical nature of the programme is recorded such as photographs, videos and the latest information on what students are doing inside and outside the classroom.
Where to from here?
The programme requires the continued training and recruitment of staff who are capable and confident internet and social media users. This will also assist in the expansion of international networking.
Further development of just in time, workplace learning online and block training that is complimented by the online study options should be continued.
A student authored open text book should be introduced as a student teaching resource. Leigh Blackall suggests channelling of student's written assignments into the production of an open online textbook on Wikibooks.org. Creating a textbook will help students focus their study in a productive way, developing an online and printed book for use while studying and when they are in the workplace, he says. The textbook will serve to bring teaching staff together around one large project, and potentially generate a small amount of revenue for the school. Each year the students will improve on the work of the previous year, receiving the printed and bound version at their graduation.
"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." (Satoro 2010).
There is a belief, and movement in that belief, towards greater collaboration and use of open educational resources at a higher tertiary level. Whether driven through social responsibility, economics or the changing needs of learners, industry and educational training for tourism needs to be dynamic, flexible and collaborative.
Programmes such as the one presented in this case study may provide the “quantum shift” or at least an alternative avenue (Rebecca Attwood – 2011) for learners. However for this movement to grow and prosper, participation, accessibility and collaboration combined with sharing of resources are required.
We invite you.
1. Wikipedia (2010) Otago Polytechnic. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otago_Polytechnic
2. Dunedin – Facts and Figure.s Retrieved from http://www.dunedinnz.com/visit/about.aspx
3. Blackall, L. (2010), Educational Developer, University of Canberra 2011
4. Hegarty, B (2010) Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations/Resources and Practices. Retrieved from: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Open_Education_Practices:_A_User_Guide_for_Organisations/Resources_and_Practices
5. Blackall, L (2010) Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations/Intellectual Property Policy. Retrieved from http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Open_Education_Practices:_A_User_Guide_for_Organisations/Intellectual_Property_Policy
6. Slideshare (2011) Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/
7. Flickr (2011) Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/r
8. Day, R (2009) Deputy CEO Otago Polytechnic
9. Attword, R, (2011) Times Higher Education. Retrieved from http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=415127&c=1
10. Sartoro, R, Individually as cited by Levin, R, (2010) retrieved from http://www.brighthub.com/office/collaboration/articles/71425.aspx
11. Wikipedia (2010) Social Responsibility. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_responsibility
12. Wikieducator, (2011),Travel and Tourism, Retrived from http://wikieducator.org/Travel_and_Tourism
13. Facebook (2011) Otago Polytechnic Travel and Tourism