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Saturday, 9 November 2013

GCTLT - Development and Implementation plan

Overview;  The story so far.....

Link to Analysis of Learners

Link to Design Overview

Destination (generic) is a level 4 paper designed to provide students with an in depth knowledge of a (chosen) destination.  These destinations have been chosen for their popularity with travellers according to industry sources e.g. Travel agencies

The Learning Objectives currently are;

1. Demonstrate an understanding of visitors needs at a destination

2. Demonstrate general and location specific tourism knowledge of the destination

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the geographical and climatic features of the destination

In order for the students to demonstrate these outcomes in an integrated and participative way the assessment outcome is to produce a travel magazine.  The students are required to document their progress using a course blog and collaborate in teams to research the activities and produce the final product.

Aims and Objectives;
The Travel,Tourism and Hospitality Industries rely heavily on team work within their organisations to provide a good product or service, the success of these is dependent on how well the team works and communicates together.  This is often a pre-requisite for many employees according to the Tourism and Hospitality Workforce Strategy (2006) which says employees need  " the ability and willingness to work effectively in teams"  (as cited in Collier, 2008, p.128).

My main aim;
  • Is to develop resources and assessments to support the development of effective team work within the paper. 
  •  Also to link these methods more closely to established resources e.g. Blog activity in a team using reflective practice Link to blog activity and individual/peer/team evaluations Link to evaluations
  • Explore the concept of teamwork and cooperative learning
"Cooperative learning is instruction that involves students working in teams to accomplish an assigned task and produce a final product (e.g. a problem/solution, critical analysis, or process or product design)" (Johnson, et al., 1998)

  • Add another learning outcome to the paper in consultation with Academic Board  e.g. Demonstrate participation in a team, measurable by observing activities in the class, individual blog entries about team progress, stop, start, continue and evaluations
  • Change the assessment criteria from a pass mark to a % mark.  Students contributions will be marked individually, the analysis of this taken from the individual blog entries which will highlight the areas that each student has taken responsibility for, formatively during the 'stop, start, continue' feedback and summatively, when marking the magazine.  As Millis & Cottell (1998) say"Cooperative learning can be defined as a structured form of group work where students pursue common goals while being assessed individually"[3,11] (as cited in Prince, 2004, p.1).

A wiki-educator page that can be generic enough to change the Destination topic each year without effecting the structure of the lesson.  Easy to follow structured lesson plans that are initially facilitator driven, developing into student driven.  A variety of on-line resources for students to access during their self-directed process.


Students; "An extensive body of [educational] research confirms the effectiveness of cooperative learning in higher education.  Relative to students taught conventionally, cooperatively-taught students tend to exhibit better grades on common tests, greater persistence through graduation, better analytical, creative, and critical thinking skills, deeper understanding of learned material, greater intrinsic motivation to learn and achieve, better relationships with peers, more positive attitudes toward subject areas, lower levels of anxiety and stress, and higher self esteem"(Johnson, et al., 1998; Mckeachie, 1999).
By helping the students to learn 'cooperative learning' skills in a structured way that scaffolds the learning this will enable them to transfer these skills into the Industry they have chosen.
In a previous paper I created a mind map that illustrates who my stakeholders are, where they are situated in relation to my facilitating context and the influences they have on the learning environment;
Stakeholders - Learning in context
By having a well structured programme that engages students with flexible content and delivery in a cooperative environment, there would be obvious benefits to my colleagues, the department, the industry, the polytechnic and the tertiary sector.

Learning Strategies;
As I have already discussed the main learning strategy that will be my focus will be creating the resources for a cooperative team building environment.
Learning Objectives;

1. Demonstrate an understanding of visitors needs at a destination
  •  Identify and describe transport, accommodation and travel products   
  •  Gather information on climatic conditions for two seasons, currency, time difference, tipping

2. Demonstrate general and location specific tourism knowledge of the destination
  • Identify and describe constructed attractions and sporting/cultural events

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the geographical and climatic features of the destination
  • Research and compile information on Mountains, National Parks, Lakes, Canals and Islands
  • Locate on a map Countries, Islands, Cities
  • Identify travel times between Cities and Islands

4. (Yet to be approved) Demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively in a team environment with reflection of practice
  • Contribute and record progress of a project (magazine), building a portfolio for reflection and evaluation
  • Reflect and evaluate on own performance, that of the team and each member
The main source of content is through wiki-educator (web-based), this has a main page, with templates for lesson plans, activities and resources.  Much of the foundations are there it just needs to be linked together and structured so that the emphasis is on creating a cooperative learning environment.  The lesson plans will take on a structured flow in the first classes so the format is teacher driven it will become more learner centred once the students understand the format.  The lesson plan will include a weekly team building activity, a weekly general knowledge quiz based on the destination they are exploring (Remembering), a lecture linked to cooperative learning (Understanding) and the assessment activity and time for feedback on the blog progress.

 Lesson plan example

Formats and media;  Visual.  A number of guest speakers from the destination they are exploring with emphasis on visitors needs at a destination, particular tourism knowledge and descriptions of geographic and climatic features of their area(Learning outcome 1, 2 and 3).  The session will be filmed, with the consent of the guest speaker, and up-loaded onto the wiki page as a resource in the future.
Video/DVD.  You tube, informational DVD's on the destination.
Magazines, written material.  Examples of travel magazines, brochures, maps,

Technologies and platforms; Micro-soft Publisher, for magazine, printed and bound.  Google or blogger for blog platform, individual contributions with a group summary.  I will also add a blog to the main page of the wiki and add announcements, reflections and updates as a form of reflection for me and the students.

The learning will be facilitated synchronously and asynchronously.  There will be a two hour lecture each week for 10 weeks.  This will take the format of a structured session (see lesson plan above) with a small amount of time for self-directed consultation with the group.  The group activities, quizzes each week and use of 'the five tenets of cooperative learning' will encourage them to 'talk' and interact with each other. (Applying)

Five Tenets of Cooperative Learning;

  • Positive interdependence.  Team members are obliged to rely on one another to achieve the goal. If any team members fail to do their part, everyone on the team suffers consequences i.e. the project does not get completed.
  • Individual accountability.  All team members are held accountable both for doing their share of the work and for understanding everything in the final product (not just the parts for which they were primarily responsible).
  • Face-to-face promotive interaction.  Although some of the group work may be done individually, some must be done interactively, with team members providing mutual feedback and guidance, challenging one another, and working toward consensus.
  • Appropriate use of teamwork skills.  Students are encouraged and helped to develop and exercise leadership, communication, conflict management, and decision-making skills.
  • Regular self-assessment of team functioning.  Team members set goals, periodically assess how well they are working together, and identify changes they will make to function effectively in the future. (Johnson, et al., 1998). 
The students will be required to meet up once a week in their own time to work on their magazine and add to the blog.(Self-directed) (Analysing). I will set up a group email system to keep in touch and will add comments to the blogs as and when necessary.  Depending on how many students I have in a class, (five students per group), the blogs will be linked so that the students can view each others work and can make comment. (Shared documents). (Evaluating).

The 10 week lessons will have a structured approach, initially lecturer driven with the emphasis moving more to student driven.  They will contain a team building activity, a quiz, a lecture(based on the assessment criteria), guest speaker and some time for informal feedback on their progress (formative).
There will be 'regular self-assessment of team functioning', this will be built into the 10 weeks and will take the form of a 'stop, start, continue' assessment to address any imbedded behaviours or attitudes. (formative). This, ideally will be student driven once they have been given the methodology behind it and the feedback will be informal/constructive.  At this stage it there will be some reinforcement of the cooperative learning model.
Some of the content will cover team attributes as described by Besterfield-Sacre et al, (2000):

  • Collaboration/Conflict management
  • Team development
  • Interpersonal style
  • Participation
  • Team Communication
  • Active listening
  • Feedback
  • Influencing others
  • Sharing information
  • Team decision-making
  • Defining a problem
  • Innovation/idea generation
  • Judgement/Using facts
  • Reaching consensus
  • Self-Management
  • Establishing directions and standards
  • Managing meetings
  • Personal conduct
  • Leadership(as cited in Project Catalyst Team, 2004).
Near the end of the course the students should have moved through Bloom's revised taxonomy, (2001), remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating and finally creating a magazine.
At this stage the learning outcomes align with the majority of the assessments but the over-all strategy that I am implementing will require another learning outcome to be added.

Milestones and time line for Objectives

  • Exploration of assessing team work - December 2013.
  • Link methods/lesson plans more closely to established resources - December 2013. 
  • Prepare structure and lesson plans for cooperative learning plan - December 13th 2013.

  • Add blog page to the wiki for announcements, updates and reflection - February 2014.
  • Discussions with programme manager regarding changing the programme document to include another learning outcome and changing the marking criteria from a Pass mark to a % mark - December 2013.
  • Implement proposal to academic board - End of December 2013.
  • Update Wiki page with lesson plans and resources - February 2014.
  • Launch 20th February 2014.
I need tutorial time with one of my colleagues to teach me how to use micro-soft publisher, in the past this colleague has given the students extra support, but this may not be ongoing.  I will also investigate using a wiki book to produce the magazine, which could also be marked online or used as an e-book and printed.
Plan, organise and contact the guest speakers, which will be done early in the new year.  The students will be required to provide laptops which is a course requirement.

The evaluation of the plan is on a separate post 

Besterfield-Sacre, Mary E, et al, "Defining the Outcomes A Framework for EC 200," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Education, Vol 43, No. 2 May, 2000.  Also available at

Buchnell University, (2004). How to Engineer Engineering Education A Catalyst for Change, Teamwork Session.  Retrieved from

Collier, A.(2008). The World of Tourism and Travel. Auckland, New Zealand: Pearson

Felder, Richard M. and Rebecca Brent, "How to Improve Teaching Quality," Quality Management Journal,Vol. 6, No. 2, 1999, pp. 4-5.

Johnson, David. W., Roger. T. Johnson, and Karl. A. Smith. Active Learning:Cooperation in the College Classroom.  Interaction Book Co., Edina, Minnesota, 1998

Prince, M. (2004). Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. Retrieved from

Victoria Business School, (2012), Bloom's revised taxonomy. retrieved  from


  1. What can I say. This is a fabulous innovation and you have prepared a comprehensive and well-written plan to describe it. Co-operative learning is ideal for this. The milestones and objectives are realistic and manageable.
    A couple of suggestions.

    1. How will you record the guest speaker's presentations to use as a resource?

    2. Referencing this would be better as:
    Some of the content will cover team attributes as described by Besterfield-Sacre et al. (2000).

    3. Perhaps get students to use Wikibooks for the magazine - is much easier to use than Publisher and creates a nice looking pdf which can be used as an e-book and printed.

    Are you planning to add more detail about the evaluation?
    In the milestones, include:
    exploration of assessing team work, and
    the evaluation process - you have evaluation of the team process but not evaluation of the development and implementation of the innovation - is this still to come?
    Great work.

  2. Hi Bronwyn,
    Thanks for your comments. I will add answers to your questions on the blog regarding guest speaker presentations, and wikibooks. I like that idea and will have to investigate further. Yes I will add more detail regarding the evaluation and milestones and will do a design matrix as a summary. Regards