Louise Giroux-Cyr, educational advisor - Nouveau-Brunswick Community College - Edmundston Campus
Sonia Michaud, associate director of educational services - Nouveau-Brunswick Community College - Edmundston Campus
The constructivist approach can now be found in all disciplines. Case in point, this article relates an initiative by the Atlantic Centre for Excellence in Tourism (ACET) at the New-Brunswick Community College, Edmunston campus. The authors relate the experience of two teachers who created an intensive one-week course offered during students’ first week at college. The theme of the course is customer service and it is based on customer service elements covered in several courses in the programs of study offered at the institution. Similar to hotel and restaurant personnel, teachers work in teams and put to work their creativity, a major asset in this approach centered on the students who learn by doing. In addition to meeting with professionals from the hotel and restaurant industry, students are placed in various simulated situations, and the classroom becomes alternately a marketplace, a hotel, a tourist site or a restaurant. This enables students not only to learn the basics of customer service, but also to develop the teamwork skills they will need in the labour market. Thanks to this approach, students can clearly see the reason behind the proposed learning and this greatly reduces motivation problems.