Every year, the master TDM (Tourism Destination Management) at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences organizes a field trip in order to have the students experiencing first hand a destination, translating the classroom learning into “real world”.
The students spend three months on three different destinations.
I was with them in Australia and Myanmar, facilitating the changing of destination and making sure the groups are working well.
My main role was to focus at the group work of the students, looking at how their interaction and communication are helping (or not) in the exploration of the assignment. This is an important learning moment for them to do a collaborative exploration and to learn how to work in an international group together, taking the most of its diversity and different perspectives.
In Bagan, I organized a workshop on group dynamics, providing a space for the groups to reflect on their group processes, talking together about their experience in the first destination, including what went really well; what didn’t go quite well; and also their best learning as a group.
In a discipline such as destination management relational skills are core for success. I believe that focusing on the process of a group work is as important as the content itself and this should be cultivated in any educational program working with complex matters.