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Title: Analysis of the research design used in a Tourism Management service learning project
Authors: Mokoena, Pavla 
Keywords: Community engagement;mixed-methods;participatory research;service learning;action research
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Mokoena, P. 2018. Analysis of the research design used in a tourism management service learning project. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 7(4): 1-13. []
Journal: African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure 
Abstract: South African Universities of Technology have incorporated service learning (SL) in various curricula as a standard mechanism. SL is a curriculum based and credit bearing project linked to a subject(s) or course module(s), with the primary goal of benefiting participants or communities. By using the expertise of university faculties and departments, this community upliftment initiative focuses on promoting social responsiveness of students where forms of service learning reflections are not formalised. This article aims to critically analyse the research design used in a Tourism Management service learning project in order to contribute to the body of service learning research knowledge. To explore the achievements of the SL project for students as well as the social benefits for participating communities, action research was undertaken. A census sample was drawn to collect quantitative and qualitative data from participants. Post project reflections from all participants were collected immediately after each project completion. A period of 12 months post project completion was allocated before further probing was conducted. Triangulated data pointed to personal and positive business developments for participating communities and heightened entrepreneurial awareness in students. 80% of students gained critical business skills from the project, and 100% of the community participants responded yes to their businesses positively benefiting from the SL project. In sharing reflections of the SL project, this article will attempt to highlight the pros and cons of the research methods followed in this project. In action research planning pre-projects for the purpose of research must be meticulous to ensure the integrity of data to be collected post projects. Crucial elements that require researcher attention when planning projects will be discussed. As essential as planning for SL projects is, planning for action research is also critical to the project. In the planning of SL projects, coordinators must compile a research plan in conjunction with a project plan before any project commencement.
ISSN: 2223-814X
Appears in Collections:BUS - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)

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