2023 News Letter Vol.3
new tourism paradigm
How Covid-19 has led us to rethink education
Toyo University Faculty of International Tourism Management Professor Graham Robson
Toyo University’s School of International Tourism has been publishing “A New Paradigm for Tourism” since AY2021, a series of articles introducing new ideas and initiatives in the field of tourism. In the current period, with the subsiding of the coronavirus pandemic and the revival of the tourism industry in full swing, we will be serializing content that explains the new trends in the tourism industry and education. The four themes for 2023 include “Revival of the Aviation Industry,” “Cultural Tourism and Museums,” “Rethinking Education in the Era of COVID-19,” and “Focus on Hospitality and Management.” Toyo University will continue to cultivate individuals capable of adapting to change and leading the way in their respective fields.
How Covid-19 has led us to rethink education
The Covid-19 pandemic starting in 2020 certainly had a negative effect on businesses and education around the world. People lost jobs, companies went bankrupt, and the flow of people around the world (an important pillar of globalization) came to a stop. This has been particularly tough on students in the faculty of International Tourism Management (ITM) at Toyo university who have dreams of going abroad and need valuable field study experience. Now in 2023, the long period of restrictions related to Covid-19 is finally coming to an end. So, was there anything positive to come out of this situation? In this short report, I would like to outline two changes that have positively affected education, particularly in Japan, and how teachers in ITM have adapted to deal with this potentially difficult period.
When Covid first affected Japan, and many schools went online, teachers were unprepared (true for me, too) at that time to begin teaching in a new way, with new technology. Indeed, the first wave of teaching online was referred to as Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT1). It was less about meeting student needs and more about the teacher and students simply getting used to this new and unusual environment. Luckily, at the end of 2020, researchers both within and outside of Japan began sharing expertise and knowledge on the best ways to teach students in an efficient, effective and fun manner online. This was also the case for teachers in (ITM) including me, who really wanted students to have valuable experiences. ITM teachers regularly shared resources and ideas with each other through the process of Faculty Development (FD2). This helped to not only give teachers new skills, but these skills could then be passed to students. An example of this can be seen in the revision of the compulsory second-year English Tourism Projects class at ITM. ITM Teachers were able to help students create and edit videos to promote regional areas in Japan, as well as invite tourism experts from outside Japan to speak in the online classroom. Without having the experience brought about by the need for change, these new and exciting developments would have taken much longer to realize.
Although the number of students studying abroad this year has grown, compared to before the Covid-19 period, there is still an overall downturn in the number of study abroad students. Studying abroad is so important for developing not only second language skills, but also intercultural skill (an important part of becoming a Global Human Resource, GHR3). This brings me to the second advantage after Covid-19, which is the spread of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL4). Through Zoom and other platforms, groups of students in different countries have been meeting online and doing projects together. Of course, many people believe that going to the actual country is far better than meeting online, but COIL has made access to other cultures much greater. In other words, many more students will take part in COIL than go to another country for study abroad. In ITM, we have already organized a successful COIL project with university students in Canada, and many smaller-scale collaborations between ITM students and university students in Italy, Malaysia, and Taiwan have also taken place. These connections with students from other countries offer our students different ways of seeing Japan through the eyes of others, and a real motivation for improving their English skills.
Not only surviving but adapting and growing in new situations is important both for individuals, such as ITM students and teachers, and organizations like Toyo University. Moving forward, I look forward to helping students realize their second language goals through a variety of meaningful and interesting resources.
1 ERT= A temporary shift of classes and education that would otherwise be conducted face-to-face to another form of delivery in a crisis situation.
2 FD = Practical methods for enhancing the teaching Competencies of university teachers
3 GHR = Global Talent; people who can be active not only in Japan, but also in other countries
4 COIL = An active learning method in which students belonging to universities abroad work together on projects in various fields in a virtual world.
Faculty of International Tourism Management Professor
field of study：pedagogy, linguistics
Research Keywords：Curriculum development / Second language communication / Learner autonomy
- 名称 東洋大学
- 所在地 東京都
- 業種 大学