Staying the distance: transforming Latin pedagogy at the Open University

Lloyd, Mair E. and Robson, James (2019). Staying the distance: transforming Latin pedagogy at the Open University. Journal of Latin Linguistics, 18(1-2) pp. 101–128.



Between 2000 and 2013, over 8,000 students studied the module Reading Classical Latin at the Open University, the United Kingdom’s largest distance education provider. But while many learners attained high grades, a significant proportion withdrew from study or failed the module. In 2015, the original module was replaced with a completely new course, Classical Latin: The Language of Ancient Rome. This article details the innovative ways in which new technology and pedagogical theory from Modern Foreign Language (MFL) learning were drawn on by the team designing this new module, resulting in a learning experience which gives greater emphasis to elements such as spoken Latin, the intrinsic pleasure of reading, and cultural context. The (largely positive) effects of these pedagogical changes on student success and satisfaction are subsequently analysed using a rich mix of qualitative and quantitative data. Finally, the authors reflect on lessons learned and the possibilities for future research and enhancement.

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