Te Whatu Kairangi Award
Leading the VR experience in tourism teaching and learning
Christian is Associate Professor in Tourism Management Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University Wellington.
Christian’s teaching and learning approach is centred on student needs with a passionate emphasis on experiential forms of learning that bridge theory and practice. He fosters learning that is relevant and accessible and he does this by situating that learning in the ‘real world’, developing innovative virtual reality tools that have won him awards internationally. Christian celebrates the diversity in backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches of his learners and they value Christian’s supportive approach to kōrero where “no question is a dumb question.” One learner commented, “Christian is a supportive, innovative, and passionate lecturer who has inspired me.”
A prime example of Christian’s excellent approach to teaching is the way that he meaningfully engaged with Fijian communities and harnessed the educational potential of Virtual Reality (VR) to create an immersive international learning experience his ākonga could be a part of from Aotearoa. His innovation in VR Situated Experiential Education has won him international recognition and awards, including a prestigious Sustainability Gold Award from Wharton-QS Reimagine Education in 2020 and he is demanded by universities around the world. Colleagues have described him as “a great leader,” and his work as “immersive, engaging, cultural, and social.”