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Hiking Trail

Ontario Trails ICD Projects

The Ontario Trails Integrated Curriculum Design (ICD) Projects were a series of joint community-based research projects and educational initiatives undertaken during the Winter 2021 semester by students in the University of Waterloo's Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in partnership with the Ontario Trails Council and trail organizations across Ontario.

Project Summary

Each Ontario Trail Research Project entailed a unique student led, instructor supported, research project where students from the University of Waterloo's first year Introduction to Tourism class worked to address a specific research need identified by their Ontario Trails Organization partner, in conjunction with Project Leads from the fourth year Advanced Seminar in Tourism Development class.

At the end of the semester, each organization participating in the Ontario Trails Research Project program received an Executive Summary, Final Report, and a series of knowledge translation infographics highlighting their study's findings. To support project completion, each organization nominated two staff members, Board members or volunteers to act as Project Liaisons. Over the semester, Project Liaisons met with students for an initial consultation meeting to discuss how the student research teams could meet their needs. Later in the semester, Project Liaisons provided feedback on students’ presentations of their interim findings, which were incorporated into the final deliverables. You can learn more about our Community Partners here.

In Winter 2021, through these partnerships, students had the opportunity to address some of the following Trail Organization-identified needs: 

  • Development of a Social Media Tool Kit and set of Social Media Best Practices for Tourism;

  • Completion of a literature review and identification of industry best practices related to effective communication with trail users;

  • Completion of a COVID-19 and Trails Media Analysis;

  • Development and piloting of several Trail-Specific User Experience Surveys; and,

  • Development of a case in support of Canadian Signature Experience designation.

Projects ran from January 11th, 2021 through to April 16th, 2021 (the end of the Winter 2021 semester at the University of Waterloo). Subsequent to project completion, several current partners set up Co-Op or Summer Employment Opportunities for students from these classes to continue their research while also gaining valuable hands-on industry experience. 

You can learn more about our three partnered projects here: 

Hiking Trail

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