Travel Study Workbook
Travel Study

Workbook or journal? Why I use a workbook to assess student learning during a travel study

. The key word in travel study is study! There is a fine line between too much and not enough academic content. I want my students to enjoy their trip but they are also getting course credit towards the major and so a balance must be stuck. Enter the travel study journal or travel study workbook.

The first 4 travel studies that I lead I used a travel study journal as an assessment item. I got tired of the boring play-by-play recounts of the day. Even when I provided them with examples and guidelines and encouraged them to write about the academic content we experienced the journals did not improve. So on my latest trip I created workbooks for my students to complete with 1 to 3 academic questions/activities and 1 to 3 travel/reflective writing prompts per day. My students seemed to enjoy the structured nature of a travel study workbook compared to the previous open journal requirement. Responses to the workbook questions by the students were aligned with the course content and insightful.


Workbooks were extremely successful and I will certainly be integrating them into my future travel study trips.

Pro tip 1: Check your students progress every 2-3 days. You don’t need to grade them while on the trip. Just skimming over to make sure they are on track and up to date will ensure they put in time as they go rather than completing it all the day before it is due.

Pro tip 2: If you assign a final paper let your students keep their workbooks/journals and submit them at the same time as their final paper. That way they can use their notes/answers to jog their memories for the paper write-up.

Here is a breakdown of all of my assessment items for my recent summer trip. Let me know what you have found works to assess learning on travel studies.


Task Points
Quiz – Module 1 12.5 (1.25%)
Quiz – Module 2 12.5 (1.25%)
Research project 200 (20%)
Academic fieldtrips 100 (10%)
Reflection on fieldtrip 25 (2.5%)
Trip workbook/journal 500 (50%)
Final paper 150 (15%)



    • The Travelling Professor

      Thank you Lizzie. I teach marketing and the trip that I used the workbook on was an ecotourism marketing course to Costa Rica.

      Therefore, I had content related questions such as…
      – Use Martha Honey’s 7 key principles to evaluate 1 business we visit today.
      – Talk with a traveller you meet (not traveling with us) and ask them about their reasons for travel. Discuss them in the context of the course content (segmentation, motives, needs, etc.)
      – Using the Five Quality Dimensions of service evaluate a service encounter you had today.

      I also had some travel/reflective style questions such as…
      – Something surprising about the local culture is…
      – What have you noticed that is different about Costa Rica?
      – In what ways did you push yourself outside of your comfort zone today?

      On busy days I assigned 2-3 total questions. On travel/free days I assigned 4-6 total questions.

      If you do decide to implement a workbook for your next travel study – let me know how you go 🙂

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