An Ecotourism Scenario Game for Tripartite (Teaching, Learning and Research) Enhancement in Tourism Study
Chung-Shing Chan, Yat-Hang Chan and Tsz-Heung Agnes Fong
With the rapid development of information and communication technology and e-learning, the conventional lecturing and knowledge transfer also have to incorporate innovative ways of teaching and technological advancements. Game-based learning is not new and has widely applied to various academic disciplines. Tourism studies often integrate field visit and classroom lecturing but a virtual and scenario-based experience in some real-life cases benefit both instructors and learners to stimulate discussions about circumstances of tourism planning and management.
The Ecotourism Scenario Game is an educational platform which simulates an indigenous community in the Amazon rainforest in Peru. Combining conceptual/theoretical knowledge, real world information and hypothetical storyline, this game allows students to make decisions in different scenarios in the development process. Instructors may deliver knowledge of ecotourism such as tourism impact assessment, destination planning and visitor management at certain stages of the game. Some common dilemmas between different parties are designed along the storyline and the students are encouraged to critically think and justify their decisions in attempt to balancing the multi-stakeholders’ interests and achieving sustainable tourism development.
This game significantly integrates conventional lecturing, class interactions and e-learning application to tourism classes. The platform also allows students to experience the scenarios outside classroom, either individually or group-based, which would enhance the learning effectiveness. A survey about the students’ satisfaction towards the learning experience has been conducted in formal lecture sessions.