With this, students are able to explore many aspects of theoretical approaches and concepts, knowledge, and skills pertaining to the subject of research. Research project enables students to “lay a groundwork” in hospitality studies, and eventually make critical contributions in this field of study.
It may be a cliché to say that “there’s no better way to learn than by doing” – here’s where research plays an important role whereby students leave the confines of a classroom to experience research. Students spend hours in data collection, analysis of data, interpreting data and drawing conclusions. This research project would be a first touch point for students to analyse practices, thoughts and culture from an academic standpoint.
In accordance to the trends of studies, there were several very interesting research topics – this include social media influence on tourism and hospitality, innovations in hotels, coffee/ café culture as well as fast food chains. This shows that research also entails a certain level of creativity to come up with an interesting yet insightful findings. Ultimately, these results could be a stepping stone for further discussion and analyses which could bridge the industry-academia gap.
Besides an educational value to research, it also hones the communication skills of students through writing and speaking. Extensive academic style of writing may just be one facet of the research project. Students also have to put together an oral presentation to supervising lecturers to ensure the aim, analyses and findings of the research are clear. To make the presentation interesting, students also justify their findings with charts and images – although the ones which really stood out have used props to make their “research message” come across.
Dr Teh Pek Yen, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of BSc (Hons) Conventions & Events Management, and Research Project Coordinator is impressed with the efforts of the students. She mentioned, “The Research Project presentation is a practice to build students’ confidence. During the presentation session, students will receive many comments and questions from different experts. Hence, this out-of-the-classroom presentation requires students to be well- prepared and hones each individual’s speaking, writing, and analytical skills. Students are also being tested on their responsiveness, knowledge on research topic as well as their personalities.”