Mobilising knowledge: an action design research case study of using technology to safeguard an endangered nature-based tourism attraction

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Coghlan, A
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2020
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Abstract

This paper considers how an Action Design Research (ADR) research methodology can contribute to impactful research in sustainable tourism. ADR arguably combines the best of Action Research with Design Science, by solving an applied problem within its contextual setting (a feature of Action Research) and drawing wider lessons or universal principles from the solution (a feature of Design Science). It argues that approaches like ADR are required to address what is a fundamentally goal-oriented (through the very definition of sustainable tourism) area of research, and bridge the academic-practitioner divide. The paper presents an ADR case study on using technology to build the eco-literacy of tourists visiting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This natural attraction represents a highly complex ecosystem, in an educationally challenging (underwater) environment, surrounded by political and scientific controversy. The case study involves the creation of a virtual reality interpretive game (the artefact) to illustrate the four stages of ADR, namely, Problem Formulation; Build, Intervene, Evaluate; Reflect and Learn; Formalise Learning. The case study highlights the importance of ADR’s principles of “reciprocal shaping”, “mutually influencing roles” and “authentic and concurrent evaluation” to bridge the gap between practice and theory, and build impactful research that can support more sustainable tourism.

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Journal of Sustainable Tourism

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This publication has been entered as an advanced online version in Griffith Research Online.

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Tourism

Human geography

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Coghlan, A, Mobilising knowledge: an action design research case study of using technology to safeguard an endangered nature-based tourism attraction, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2020

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