We limit the “lecture” to segments of twenty (20) minutes in order to respect limitations of attention and retention. We encourage the development of segments that have a (deceptively) simple problem, puzzle or challenge. We also encourage the integration of words, pictures and illustrated processes in each segment. Our Motto: Keep is simple - keep it moving – keep them guessing.
The Real World
We believe that “true learning” requires the application of knowledge learned in class to some meaningful dimension of a person’s everyday life. In order to encourage this process, students participate in a variety of projects. In most cases, the results of their hard work are video-captured and incorporated into the TRC website for viewing and / or incorporated into future lecture segments.
People have used games for thousands of years in order to learn and develop skills and knowledge. The Relevant Classroom encourages the use of a variety of individual and team-based gaming processes to reinforce learning, as well as provide in-class extra-credit based on knowledge and its application. Currently “The Game” is one of the highest rated segments of each class period.
Teachers teach. Students attend. But has learning occurred. The TRC Curriculum Platform encourages ongoing performance appraisal. First, the gaming segment rewards students participating in teams, based on their knowledge-based performance. Second, students in the audience that follow along are able to perform a self-assessment during the gaming segment.
It could be Monday Night Football, or an elegant wedding – but we always expect an introduction before an event. And we believe that the classroom is no different. So we use every minute before class officially starts – to inform – to inspire – and to “prime” the audience.
Douglas Adams received his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1996 from the University of Arizona. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
Teaching a variety of courses - of all sizes and topics - for over 20 years Dr. Adams combines innovative in-class teaching processes, with meaningful project applications in order to enhance the overall learning experience.
The Relevant Classroom (TRC) is a Philosophy – a Curriculum Platform – and an Emergent Learning Community.
The Philosophy of TRC encourages multiple layers of classroom-based engagement and the assessment of learning using a variety of methods.
The TRC Curriculum Platform provides a modular template for the seamless integration of lectures with Slide and Video – In-class “gaming” drills and teamwork – and the assessment of out-of-class projects. The TRC Platform is adaptable to all disciplines and / or topics, and is scalable for classes from four (4) to over 400 students.
The TRC website provides the opportunity for students to review projects and videos created by their peers for ideas, insight, inspiration and a few hearty chuckles. Then, when the semester ends, a few more are added to the playlist.