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Business Academy SouthWest Denmark Finland News Research University of Turku

TourNord at the NordYrk 2021 conference!

Timo Halttunen (University of Turku), Anders Karkov (Business Academy SouthWest), Christian Dragin-Jensen (Business Academy SouthWest) and Céline Kylänpää (University of Turku) presented their research last week at the NordYrk 2021 online conference at Linköping University, Sweden. With 193 registered participants, the conference brought many (Nordic) researchers and participants interested in the conference’s theme: “Transitions to, between, and within school and working life in vocational education and training”.

The Tournord members’ research, titled “Collaborative Problem Solving in Real-World Situations”, involved 4 case studies of culinary (VET) and tourism management (higher education) students in Finland and Denmark. Travelling to hotels in the cities of Sønderborg (DK) and Pori (FI), students were tasked on tackling a very (globally) relevant issue of food waste in the hospitality sector.  

Lead author Timo Halttunen presented the case studies and findings, bringing to attention the impact of different conditions present at the workspace to collaborative problem solving. As Timo Halttunen states:

“In classrooms, problems have a clear starting point and a goal. At the workplace, problems are often ill-defined, meaning that the starting point and end result are not that clear. At the workplace students may or may not receive support for their problem solving, and they are left to their own devices. In our study, we found that access to expert skill and knowledge is crucial for success in collaborative problem solving. However, the students underused the learning affordances present at the workspace. Furthermore, it was important that students had an opportunity to access the authentic venue to explore the problem space. In this case, the restaurant for breakfast buffet at the hotel was a richer environment for student collaborative problem solving than a conference room or a pub at the same hotel. To conclude, it was important that teachers were present to intervene when needed, and to provide students with support in perspective taking and generating solutions. When students got back on track again, teachers stepped aside and let the students to develop their sense of agency and take charge of their own learning process”.

Timo Halttunen, Head of Brahea Development Services at University of Turku and Chairman of UCEF (University Continuing Education Network Finland).

The research contributes to the growing body of academic literature highlighting the need for teachers, educators and professionals to bridge the gap between classroom and workplace. Moreover, Collaborative problem solving provides a fascinating insight into solving ill-defined problems, a critical 21st century skill.  

You can find the conference abstract here.

Have any questions about the research or want to collaborate? Contact Timo Halttunen or Christian Dragin-Jensen.

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Business Academy SouthWest Denmark Koszalin University of Technology Linnaeus University News Norway Poland Research Sweden Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

TourNord partners to investigate how to build resilient events and festivals in times of uncertainty!

We are starting 2021 with a bang!

We are pleased to announce that an international team from TourNord, working under the direction of Dr. Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Assistant Professor at the Koszalin University of Technology and Associate Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, will be investigating how to build resilient events and festivals during uncertain times! A very relevant topic considering the severe effects the global pandemic COVID-19 has wrought.

COVID-19 has led to a lockdown of local, regional and even national economies for months at end. Society has faced new (and severe) social and economic challenges, huge losses in experience economies such as the event, tourism and hospitality industries. The International Labour Organization (ILO) predicts that unemployment will rise by 24.7 million people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ILO further estimates that by the end of 2020, the economic loss due to COVID-19 will tap up to 3.4 trillion dollars.

(Left: An empty festival ground makes for a haunting landscape)

This situation constitutes to be a great societal challenge which calls for urgent intervention, to save what is left and (re)build a resilient Event & Festival (E&F) sector through action research. The rational for this project, running from February – August 2021, lies in the need for up-to-date knowledge and knowledge-based tailored solutions to build resilient E&F ecosystems in our “new reality”.

The project is to be undertaken by an international group of researchers from: Koszalin University of Technology in Poland (Dr. Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Dr. Dorota Janiszewska, Dr. Luiza Ossowska, Dr. Dariusz Kloskowski), Business Academy SouthWest in Denmark (Dr. Christian Dragin-Jensen), Linnaeus University in Sweden (Dr. Marianna Strzelecka) and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (M.L. Vilde Hannevik Lien).

Project lead, Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, is looking forward to the international cooperation and the results the project will bring:

The possibility of implementing this grant is the result of the beneficial international cooperation implemented so far by our department. We will be able to conduct important research on issues that affect us all.

Gregory Kwiatkowski,
Ass. Professor, Koszalin University of Technology
Associate Professor, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Financial support for the project was obtained from the “Intervention Grants” Program of the National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) in Poland. The purpose of the program implemented is to support international cooperation of research teams in response to sudden, important, unforeseen social, civilization and natural phenomena with global or regionally significant consequences.

We look forward to hear what findings the project will bring, and how we can help bring forward these findings to practitioners, students and researchers alike!

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Denmark News

A meeting of minds!

GREAT NEWS!

TourNord is now collaborating with the Center for Hospitality and Experience Economy

Picture source: medium.com

Located in Denmark, the Center for Hospitality and Experience Economy (CHEE) is an independent knowledge center, geared at “spreading knowledge about hospitality and the experience economy”.

Here at TourNord, we are very much looking forward to learn about CHEE’s most recent projects, which focus on volunteerism in tourism, and how to strategically work with big data, turning information into tangible actions!

We are certain this collaboration will help facilitate better knowledge for our partner institutions, our students within the experience economy, and will lead to future projects together!

You can check out their website here.

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Meeting News

1st network meeting: Postponed

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation, the 1st network meeting in Denmark has been postponed until 2021. Dates for the meeting will be announced in 2021.

If you have any questions/comments, please contact project lead Christian Dragin-Jensen at cdje@easv.dk

Stay safe everyone, and we will see you all in the new year!

TourNord

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Business Academy SouthWest Denmark Finland Research University of Turku

Work-Based Learning in Finland and Denmark!

Last week, the University of Turku (UTU) and Business Academy SouthWest (BASW) conducted several Work-Based Learning sessions in Pori, Finland and Sønderborg, Denmark. The topic of the Work-based learning (WBL) sessions was Food waste in the food service sector. The goal of these sesssions were to study teacher and learner strategies in Creative Problem Solving, as a means to obtain meaningful learning. Specifically, the project aims at exploring how teachers and learners determine the right problem to solve, and how to solve it. Inspired by a design thinking process, the focus is on emphasizing with customer needs, defining a problem and ideating to solve the problem. The notion of meaningful learning is studied from the perspective of how teachers and learners co-create a learning process that aims at supporting better understanding of the needs of the customer and strategies for solving their problems.

The project project draws upon existing state-of-the-art research in education, such as Hesse et al.’s framework for teachable collaborative problem solving skills ( 2015), Tynjälä et al.’s model of integrative pedagogy (2016) and work-based learning (e.g. Kis, 2016; Lemanski & Overton, 2016; Siebert, Mills, & Tuff, 2009).

The project aims to answer the following research questions:

  • How do teachers script engaging learning processes that support development of learner autonomy and agency?
  • What constitutes an industry-relevant learning process?
  • Can student work readiness be improved by supporting learner autonomy and agency?

A more in-depth description of the project can be found here.

What did the sessions look like?

Working together with staff from the Sokos Hotel Vakuuna Pori and students and teachers from the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in Finland, UTU observed teacher and learner strategies. Firstly, the hotel manager Riina Ojanen presented the problem of food waste at the hotel. Students then, in groups, worked on redefining the problem and were then allowed to ask the hotel manager additional questions in order to reformulate and fine-tune the problem. They then worked in groups to provide solutions. Each group came onstage to present their findings. The other groups listened carefully, and asked more questions when necessary. The hotel manager gave feedback on the solutions provided. Finally, students evaluated their learning experience using an online tool, mentimeter. Teachers evaluated the groups learning process and their own teaching experience.

WBL: Students from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences at the Sokos Hotel Vakuuna Pori.

In Denmark, BASW worked together with Hotel Sønderborg Strand, where a similar structure was held. First, the students received a tour of the hotel (with masks due to CoVID-19 restrictions in Denmark!). The topic of food waste was then presented by Executive Chef Allan Larsen, Hotel Manager Dorit Møller and marketing coordinator Trine Nielsen. The groups (and teacher), just as in Finland, followed the same process to reach solutions, as well as their evaluation of the session.

Picture (left): A student presenting his group’s solution to Food Waste to other students.

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Business Academy SouthWest Denmark Meeting News

Dates set for 1st network meeting!

Aerial photo of Esbjerg. Copyright Esbjerg Kommune/Torben Meyer

We are happy to announce that TourNord’s first network meeting will take place in Esbjerg, Denmark from the 4th-6th of November 2020 (Covid-19 permitting).

Our partner, Business Academy SouthWest, will host the meeting and will cover two themes relevant to our network:

  1. Preparing students and educators with digital skills and competences in tourism.
  2. Developing Sustainable Tourism Destinations

A more detailed program will be announced shortly.

We look forward to three days of learning about tourism in the southwest of Denmark, knowledge sharing and working towards developing future projects!

Business Academy SouthWest’s Esbjerg campus
Categories
Dania Academy Denmark News

Dania Academy joins TourNord!

We are happy to announce that Dania Academy have joined as a partner at TourNord. Dania Academy, with 8 campuses across Denmark, has a proud history of educating students within service, hospitality and tourism management.

Actively involved in research projects, Dania Academy are currently researching superhost motivations in AirBnB host communities, and volunteerism and value in hospitality organizations.

Henrik Pahus, Senior Project Manager R&D, expressed his excitement about joining the network:

“At Dania, we are strongly committed to working internationally within all fields connected to Research and Development. In that capacity, TourNord is the perfect network for us to participate in in regards to hospitality research. We expect, that the TourNord network will help us expand future cooperation between the parties involved, while at the same time help us to foster closer bonds with researchers within the field of hospitality in the partner countries.

Our primary motivation for participating is to gain new partners within R&D in the Nordic countries, and we look forward to the many new projects that TourNord will hopefully yield”

Henrik Pahus, Senior Project Manager R&D, Dania Academy

Welcome aboard Dania Academy!

Are you an institution in the Nordic (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Faroe Islands, Iceland) or Baltic (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) countries working within education and tourism and want to join the TourNord network? Use our contact form to get in touch with us!