Motivating students with relevancy and passion

Daryl Davies, Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at USC’s Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, discusses motivating students with relevancy and passion.

Professor Davies was the 2014 USC Mellon Mentoring Award recipient

Watch this 2-minute video and scroll down for the full interview, plus tips for implementing this in your course!

Read more about this approach in Daryl’s own words:

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Interested in reflecting on relevancy in your teaching practice?

Here are some tips for incorporating current events into your courses:

  • Align discussion of current events with the learning objectives.
  • Create or review existing classroom discussion norms with students.
  • Plan for discussion time for current events as they relate to course content.
  • Allow for unplanned conversations, which can help students feel heard by actively acknowledging the topic, allowing for discussion, and closing the conversation.

More resources for incorporating relevant content in your course:

What does the research say?

Church, T. D., Burkhardt, A. M., Phan, T., & Davies, D. L. (2023). Pharmacy undergraduate programs: Development of an adaptive curriculum for student success. Heliyon, 9(2), e13437–e13437. (USC Libraries Link)

Christopher H. Tienken (Academic Editor) (2022) Use RICE (Relevancy, interest, choice, and engagement) to Foster Learning That Sticks, Kappa Delta Pi Record, 58:2, 56-58, DOI: 10.1080/00228958.2022.2039516.

Peters, S., Clarebout, G., Diemers, A., Delvaux, N., Verburgh, A., Aertgeerts, B., & Roex, A. (2017). Enhancing the connection between the classroom and the clinical workplace: A systematic review. Perspectives on medical education, 6(3), 148–157. (USC Libraries link)

Watla-Iad, K., & Kradtap Hartwell, S. (2022). Creating a Globally Enhanced Chemistry Course through an Intercultural Collaborative Assignment. Journal of Chemical Education, 99(2), 1068–1075. (USC Libraries link)


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