Teaching & Learning

Focus and Themes

The SIG aims to provide a forum for CAUTHE members to discuss and engage in professional development activities related to tourism, hospitality and events education in the rapidly changing higher education environment. Current interests and themes include:

  • Curriculum development including design and delivery, assessment, student experience
  • Student learning including influences, practices, pathways and spaces
  • The impacts and implications of higher education policy
  • Globalisation and internationalisation in higher education
  • Professional learning, work experience and industry engagement
  • The balance between liberal/social science education and vocational education
  • Tourism, hospitality and events education futures

Key Outcomes for Members

The SIG allows colleagues with a passion for teaching and learning to share and test ideas, have an outlet for their research, learn from the experiences of their peers and be a stakeholder in the advancement of best practice in tourism, hospitality and events education in Australia. The SIG seeks to organise symposia, workshops and other professional development opportunities, independently or in collaboration with other kindred organisations, to extend and explore the teaching and learning interests of CAUTHE members.

2016 Activities

  • NZ co-chair: we are still looking for a NZ co-chair to complete the leadership team of the SIG. Drop us an email if you are interested.

Past Activities


  • A number of SIG members have contributed chapters to the Handbook of Teaching and Learning in Tourism being published by Edward Elgar. The guest editors accepted eight abstracts and submission of full papers was 30 November 2015.
  • The SIG supported the work of a two year project in Australia to develop a set of national learning and teaching academic standards for tourism, hospitality and events. This exercise is similar to the benchmark statements that were developed in the UK.
  • Assoc Prof Elisa Backer and Pierre conducted on research into the perceived value of Australian business Honours degrees. CAUTHE members were invited to participate in the online survey.
  • The SIG hosted a paper stream and workshops at the CAUTHE 2015 conference as part of the OLT Setting the Standard in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Higher Education and OLT Enhancing student learning outcomes with simulation-based pedagogies projects.
  • SIG member Tamara Young was recently awarded a national OLT citation for outstanding contributions to student learning.
  • The SIG had a great turnout at the CAUTHE 2015 conference where discussions included:
    • Social Media: please join our group conversations on LinkedIn or our newly created Facebook page (choose your poison!)
    • Hot off the press: The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Hospitality Education has been co-edited by some of our SIG members (Dianne Dredge and Michael Gross) and is a significant new addition to the literature on tourism, hospitality and events education. Well worth a read.
    • Non-university members: the SIG is an inclusive group and welcomes newcomers from both university and non-university institutions.


  • Due to growing interest from members in Singapore and New Zealand the SIG formed a new structure, with a team of chairs working together on various global and local activities:
    • Australian Co-chairs: Pierre Benckendorff (East Coast); Diane Lee (West Coast)
    • Singapore Chair: Nisha Abm
    • New Zealand Chair: Christian Schott
  • Webinar titled Technology Enhanced Learning in Tourism and Hospitality was held on 23 July 2014.


  • Scholarship: contributions to the Handbook of Tourism and Hospitality Education being published by Routledge in 2014.
  • Members have been successful obtaining two national grants from the Office for Teaching and Learning (OLT) for the following projects:
    • Setting the standard: establishing threshold learning outcomes for tourism, hospitality and events higher education in Australia
    • Enhancing student learning outcomes with simulation-based pedagogies
  • Networking: members have been actively involved in networking and assisting other kindred organisations and networks including the Tourism Education Futures Imitative (TEFI), the BEST Education Network and THE-ICE.
  • The SIG would also like to congratulate the following individuals for receiving national OLT citations for outstanding contributions to student learning in the tourism, hospitality and event areas:
    • Steve Brown (Flinders University) for the creation and development of the suite of undergraduate and postgraduate festival and event programs in tourism leading to industry-ready graduates
    • Elisa Backer (Federation University) for development of creative, innovative curricula that demonstrate leadership; and as well as providing excellent learning outcomes for students, have gained support from industry




  • Teaching and Learning SIG Forum. Theme: Fostering Collaborative and Innovative Industry? Academe Educational Alliances on 8 October at Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia, organized by Lisa Ruhanen, Elizabeth Roberts and Noel Scott.


  • Meeting at CAUTHE 2009 to discuss and confirm the focus and key outcomes of the SIG.
  • Special Journal issue of the Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Management about the Student Experience, edited by Lisa Ruhanen, Elizabeth Roberts and Noel Scott, containing the following papers:
    • Deconstructing the Student Experience: A Conceptual Framework by Pierre Benckendorff, Lisa Ruhanen and Noel Scott
    • All Wired Up But Not Plugged in: An Evaluation of Tourism and Leisure Marketing Students’ Expectations and Experiences of Lecture Podcasting, by Dale Sanders and Megan LeClus
    • Evaluating Wikis as an Assessment Tool for Developing Collaboration and Knowledge Management Skills, by Pierre Benckendorff
    • With The Simpsons as Tour Guides: How Popular Culture Sources can Enhance the Student Experience in a University Tourism Unit by Johan R. Edelheim
    • Two Perspectives on Event Management Employment: Student and Employer Insights Into the Skills Required to Get the Job Done! by Olga Junek, Leonie Lockstone and Judith Mair
    • Mind the Gap: Aligning Learning and Graduate Outcomes Through Industry Partnerships by Elizabeth Roberts
    • Tourism and Hospitality Research Student Experiences: How to Achieve Quality, Inclusivity and Belongingness by Gayle Jennings, Ulrike Kachel, Sandra Kensbock and Mary-Anne Smith

SIG Co-ordinators

  • Dr Diane Lee

    Social Sciences and Humanities

    Murdoch University

  • Dr Mieke Witsel

    School of Tourism & Hospitality Management

    Southern Cross University

  • Mrs Barkathunnisha Abu Bakar

    School of Arts

    Murdoch University