‘Strategic Alignment’ meets ‘Constructive Alignment’: Embedding the Interests of a DMO into the Life of an Academic Tourism Programme in the Heart of Cambridge, UK (Duignan, 2017)

Click here for the slides: ATHE 2017 Presentation

ATHE 2017 focus
1) Urban context, background and driving force;
2) Pedagogic principles, links to HEA (2016) project;
3) Snapshot: practice between DMO and BSc.

– Longer-term strategy, REF (impact case): slow tourism (ATHE, 2015) democratising urban spaces;
– TEF (destinations, achievement / academic rigour, experience satisfaction etc…);
– Cambridge’s critical context: fixated on economic growth = local pressures on local livelihoods;
– Gentrification, rents, shifting business demographics, ‘Clone Town’ (NEF, 2010) – how to resist?
– Research agenda: local festivals to mega-events;
– Strong economy but policy underpinned by ‘social justice’? Local challenge, erosion of identity and destination competitiveness (Duignan and Wilbert, 2016)?

Theory: Pedagogic Principles
– BSc Tourism Management and the HEA (2016) ‘Directed Independent Learning’ (DIL) Project;
– Independent engagement with projects, literature, debates – and – socially construct own learning (Wheeler, 2015);
– Linkages to ‘Learning Gain’ (e.g. HEFCE, 2016; Cardiff Met, 2016): inc out of class engagement, wider/independent learning, network, local politics/economics of tourism;
– Authentic learning environments (Brown, 2014) and embedding students in wider ecosystem of tourism (Duignan and Wilbert, 2016);


Practice: DMO and BSc
– MoU / strategic alignment – mapping CLO and DMO
– Overlay with REF/research agenda to link to institution;
– Temporally different approach:
i) ‘one-off’ (e.g. students involved in DMO advisory meetings / policy, individual/group consultancy)
ii) to ‘complex, multiple day’ projects (e.g. #ProjectCambridge);
– Joint led-industry projects offering paid research (‘taster’) positions (e.g. grassroots EAT Cambridge and Cambridge Half Marathon 2016 tourism economic impact;
– #ProjectCambridge: HEA (2016) ‘DIL’ project.

Student, University, and DMO benefits:
– Student-centered learning: progress, achievement, experience, destinations and career opportunities etc etc;
– Easier on smaller cohort BSc tourism/events: strong emphasising: individual progress, support, destinations;
– Institutional metrics: TEF, NSS. Annual Monitoring (from retention, mod eval, industry / external engagement…);
– Of course … VisitBritain bid, REF ‘Impact’ (case study), access to evidence, data, papers, REF submission;
– Increasing cohorts of MPhil-PhD (x3, 15%, 2016).


ATHE (2015) Making the Case Award. Available at: https://www.athe.org.uk/prize-awards/ [Accessed: 3 January 2016].

Duignan, M.B., and Wilbert, C (2017, forthcoming). Embedding Slow Tourism and the ‘Slow Phases’ Framework: the case of Cambridge, UK. In: Clancy, M. 2017. Eds. Slow Tourism, Food and Cities: Pace and the Search for the ‘Good Life’. London: Routledge.

HEA (2016) Directed Independent Learning Project. Available: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resource/effective-practice-design-directed-independent-learning-opportunities [Accessed 1 November 2016]

HEFCE (2016) Learning Gain Project. Available: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/lt/lg/ [Accessed 1 November 2016].

NEF (2010). Re-imagining the High Street: Escape from Clone Town Britain [pdf online]. Available at: http://b.3cdn.net/nefoundation/1da089b4b1e66ba2b3_v8m6b0c0w.pdf. [Accessed: 12 November 2014].

Wheeler, T (2015) Learning in The Digital Age: Theory and Practice. Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/timbuckteeth/learning-in-the-digital-age-theory-and-practice-55829376. [Accessed: 22 December 2015].



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