Welcome to the Campbell - Rhodes Learning Method Website

While the website is under construction, here are a few documents and references that will help you understand the method.

First an Overview:

Campbell-Rhodes Learning Method


Robert W. Rhodes completed his doctoral work in 1972, following a relatively traditional way of studying for classes all through his three degrees. One of his concerns during these degrees was that the training was always on teaching, with little work on learning. One of his professors at Arizona State University did a paper that dealt with that issue: "Education and Square Tires" by William Svboda (attached). Throughout the past four decades of teaching, Dr. Rhodes has emphasized the learning element of schools, elementary through graduate.

During his college training, Dr. Rhodes often had classes with required textbooks of several hundred pages, and one time, nearly 2000 pages. Finding it nearly impossible to read that much material for all his classes, he quickly learned to skim the material, trying to find the important things that were needed for papers and tests.

Donald Campbell started college decades ago in Oregon, completing only one year before joining the military. After the military, he attended the University of Washington. Then careers in car racing and sales occupied his time. About 5 years ago, he decided that he needed educational degrees, but found the amount of reading material in the textbooks and supplementary material overwhelming. Using some industrial software designed to find pertinent data in mounds of material for Homeland Security, the FBI, Visa, Chase Bank and others, he was able to digitize and index the material so that he could find what he needed for assignments, papers, tests and quizzes. When Don started in college, he was a "C" student. Through his Bachelor, and Master degree programs, Don's grades were "A"'s, often with comments from professors and other students as to the high quality of his work. (See testimonies)

Process of the Campbell-Rhodes Learning Method

The Campbell-Rhodes Learning Method is a way for students to control their own learning, either as students or as scholars. The goals or requirements for a project are set either by the student or by an instructor. The process works well whether the instructor is aware that the students are using the method or not. It is a way of studying, of finding pertinent information quickly, and of preparing for papers, discussions, and exams. In classes, instructors present the requirements and/or the goals and usually outline the material that will be tested. Traditionally, students would then read the textbook and go over their lecture notes to try to guess the questions the instructor might ask, or to prepare a paper required by the instructor. However, the plethora of other information available on the Internet concerning the subject would never be approached. The C-R Learning Method allows a much more focused and complete approach.

Step one is to digitize the textbook for the class. So long as the student has purchased the textbook, there is no copyright issue in doing this for his/her personal use. The student can then digitize any supplemental materials in the same manner. If the instructor/professor is willing, the instructor's lecture notes and any PowerPoints can also be digitized. Without instructor involvement, the student can digitize his/her own lecture notes. All this is then put into a folder on a computer.

Step two is then to use an indexing program to make the material searchable. There are several indexing programs available, from free to very expensive. The free ones do okay, the more expensive make searches much easier. Some of the indexing programs allow searches by single words or groups of words, similar to Google, Bing and Yahoo. In fact the process is similar to using those commercial programs on the internet, except that the search is being done only from the materials in the folder, foc using the hits only on the material the instructor has said is appropriate for the class. The indexing software that Don Campbell used allowed searches by single words and word groups, but also allowed searched of "one word within 10 words of another", "one word within the same paragraph of another", and "one word within the same document as another". That program also provided suggestions to follow for other relevant information. Using only the documents provided by the instructor for a class allows quicker and easier access to needed information for study, papers and exams. Anecdotal information shows that not only are individual class grades raised by using this method, but long-term learning is improved as well, likely because of the additional input, focus and concentration involved in the study process.

Step three is to add other articles to the folder and re-index before searching. Using some key words and phrases from the instructions for the class, the student can do a Google, Bing or Yahoo search and see what is found. Doing a search in this way usually provides thousands, even millions of hits, most of which are useless in any academic setting. The student is looking for credible documents from credible sources, preferable peer-reviewed articles. There are other libraries of digital material available through journal websites, university websites and various libraries. For example, Top Gun Scholar.com has over 40,000 public domain books on its website already indexed and ready to search. When such articles, even books, are found, rather than reading and trying to remember them, the student copies them to his folder to index. Even with the textbook, supplementary material, class notes and several additional articles, once indexed, the number of hits a student is likely to get for a word or word group, is much smaller (usually in the range of 5-20), all pertinent and useful. The indexing software that Don Campbell used also provided citations for the hits in APA format, which was quite useful in writing papers.

When a class is completed, the folder is set aside, but not deleted, and a new folder for the next class is started in the same manner. Since previous class folders have already been indexed, they are immediately ready for a search, if the student finds something in the new class that was covered in a previous class. Also, the relevant documents can be copied an put into the new folder.

A few students have used the C-R Learning Model and their grades have been tracked. Their grade improvement has been remarkable. Many other students have used the Model through encouragement from their instructor at colleges or have learned from Don Campbell or Robert Rhodes how to use the model and have improved their grades without providing specific data. One professor who is using the Model without having students digitize the textbook says that "student retention is up 17% and test performance is up 9%". He also indicated that student dropouts from his classes were reduced from over 10% to below 5% as students gained confidence with the process and realized that the material was accessible more quickly. For this professor's classes, students have access to a searchable folder containing lecture notes, supplemental materials and PowerPoints, and are instructed in how to use the C-R Learning Model.

Generally what has been found is that those who use the Campbell-Rhodes Learning Model more completely learn better, perform better in classes, and get higher grades than those who do not use the Model. Those who use part of the Model, do better than those who do not use it, but not as well as those who use the Model more thoroughly.

One student who digitized the textbook only and tracked results, increased grades dramatically and was able to get nearly all "A"'s from Mira Costa College. Another learning disabled student was able to move a grade in Art History from a "D" to a "B" in only half of the semester after starting to use the Method.

The C-R Learning Model has been primarily developed for and used with college and university students, but it is believed that high school students could similarly improve their learning and improve their grades.


Here is Education and Square Tires:





I recently read an article in an obscure education journal which I have evidently misplaced. Consequently, I need to apologize that I will not have any scholarly footnotes and you will be unable to verify if I have recalled the story correctly. The author of the article, who obviously also must go nameless, described a tire manufacturing company that was having problems. He then related suggestions that were undertaken to solve the company's problems and noted the outcomes of those attempts.

It thought it was an interesting description of a real life economic problem and attempts to solve it. However, I was puzzled by the ending which did not seem to "add up." I have the suspicion that the author may have sneaked in some subtle meaning which I missed - like maybe a moral to the story or something. It also does not make sense that an article about a tire company would be in an education journal even if it is an obscure one. I would like to relate this story in the hope that readers who get some kind of meaning, if any, from it will inform me of their insights. The following is the story as best as I can remember it.

It seems that there was this tire company that was having problems satisfying its customers. Consumers of the company's square tires were not especially specific about their unhappiness. Consumer dissatisfaction was endemic at a low level but would break into epidemic proportions periodically. Whenever criticism reached its peak, the company would try to respond in the best interests of its clients.

After the latest crescendo of criticism brought about by a report of influential consumers, the company compiled a list of suggestions from consumers, government officials, labor leaders, company personnel and many others who contributed their enthusiastic and informed expertise to solving the problems of the Square Wheel and tire Company. It was obvious from the beginning that the means of production needed refinement.

The following recommendations for increasing productivity were suggested. As I remember, they were not in any order of priority.

-        Increase the pay of the workers so that more efficient workers will be attracted to the Square Wheel and Tire Company in the future.


-        Institute merit pay so that those who produce more and better square tires will be rewarded proportionately.


-        Get back to the basics of tire manufacturing by decreasing the amount of modern synthetics and increasing the amount of natural rubber that is used in the square tires.


-        Write letters to the editor and call in to radio talk shows deploring the quality of the prospective buyers who are so lazy, ill mannered, undisciplined and immature that they will not purchase the square tires.


-        Write articles in the Square Tire Manufacturer's Journal attacking new fads which have let consumers astray. Point out that the Circular Tire Association's propaganda which encourages product utility, relevance to consumer needs and other "practical" considerations is undermining consumer's confidence in the classic qualities of the product and derides the industry as a whole.


-        Encourage more prayer in the Square Wheel and Tire Company plants.


-        Make entry into the Square Tire Union's training programs more difficult as a way to increase the quality of employees and eventually increase the productivity of square tires.


-        Increase the length of the workday so that more square tires can be produced.


-        Test the tires more frequently to insure that high standards of composition, quality and perfect squareness are met.


-        Introduce more technology into the plant - especially computers - to increase productivity of the square tires.


-        Ask for financial aid from all levels of government and private foundations to research and implement the suggestions above as well as others which are designed for producing and marketing square tires more efficiently,.


The ending of the article, the part that puzzles me, was just three sentences.


"The suggestions were implemented."

"The suggestions were successful."

"The company was still experiencing major difficulties."