Editorial – Perspectives to implementing threshold learning outcomes in tourism, hospitality and events education

Naomi F. Dale, Patrick L'Espoir Decosta

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The conversation between tourism, hospitality and events scholars, educators and practitioners around quality assurance and standards in education is not a particularly new one; however allocated thresholds for some have only recently become a hot topic. Since the turn of the last century, the changing nature of higher education in terms of increasing participation and a more diverse student population coupled with the pressure of adopting one form or another of a national qualification framework, have led to the definition of learning outcomes at various degree levels (Dale, L'Espoir Decosta, & Weir, 2017). Such outcomes-based learning and teaching (OBLT) was accompanied by quality assurance systems (Biggs, 2014) that ensured not only equivalency and consistency but also accountability. This shift in perspective is necessary if these standards are to be transformative for the learner, unlikely to be forgotten or irreversible and revealing of previously unnoticed interrelatedness among bodies of knowledge and disciplines. In Australia, such a shift was highlighted for Australian academics in particular, by the recent publication (June 2015) of the Tourism, Hospitality and Events Learning and Teaching Academic Standards (Whitelaw et al., 2015), as part of an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) project. The implications for the quality standards of TH& E education across the country are multiple; spanning researchers, teaching and learning throughout tertiary institutions. They also rest on the basic assumption that these institutions are actually in line first with the general standards of the Australian Qualification Framework. In terms of the learning domains to which the standards apply, the TLOs refer to “‘the minimum standard’ that is expected of graduates” (www.olt.gov.au/project-setting-standard-establishing-threshold-learning-outcomes-tourism-hospitality-and-events-hig p. 8).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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