ROAD TRIP NATION
ROAD TRIP NATION WEBSITE
Road Trip Nation
"Road Trip Nation" Curriculum by:
Coughlin, Daly, Kirlin, Striplen, and Bancroft (Copyright 2007)
Exploring the open road
Are you ready for Road Trip Nation (RTN)
Are you ready for a change of pace in your teaching experience? Whether you are in new teacher or one who is taught for a while, this assignment will give you a thrill. The learning outcomes are always interesting and valuable and are equally so for the student as for the instructor. You have to “let go” and “hold on” at the same time and fully trust the experiential process that this assignment affords.
This assignment is the “informational interview” experience at its best. The fun part is that you as instructor get to play the role of “guide” instead of “expert” in this experience. You get to focus on the process of learning along with your students and all of the excitement of experiencing the unexpected as it unfolds week by week.
The assignment, with just a little tweaking, can be focused to meet the components of the general first year seminar syllabus or the content area of almost any course. Thus far the RTN assignment has been used by faculty in Communications, Computer Science, Education and Ethnic Studies. The grading and emphasis on various aspects of the assignment were a little different for each course. Some instructors focused on presentations to the class or cooperative work in groups, decision-making, critical thinking and problem-solving; while others focused on civic engagement and college majors and career decision-making. Other instructors focused on assessment and writing reactions to the experience. But best of all, students will come back with unexpected results.
This assignment affords the opportunity for both the instructor and student to venture outside of the routine college experience. The unique and exciting experience has drawn national attention and has been the subject of public television and written publications. Those of us at Sacramento State that has used the RTN assignment several semesters would be happy to consult with those who wish to try it for the first time. Now’s your chance.