Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Mark Damen

Abstract

In a rapidly changing and increasingly technology-dependent world, instructors in higher education are often confronted with challenges and opportunities unfamiliar to their predecessors of only twenty years ago. Students and instructors have instant access to more and better information than ever before. Ebooks, Youtube, video conferencing, and online research databases allow modern students to learn many subjects with little more than their smart phone. While the internet provides nearly unlimited learning potential, most students flooding into universities are more familiar with checking their phones than checking out library books, creating an inherent divide between how most subjects have been traditionally taught and how today’s student is acculturated to learning.

To meet the needs of these new, millennial students, the Classics program at Utah State University has turned to the “flipped classroom,” one of the last decade’s most successful educational experiments. Utah State’s Beginning Latin program has harnessed the capabilities of the information age to improve the quality of beginning language classes and provided an essential initial step toward raising the quality of Latin education and opening the door to students anywhere in the world. By creating a series of online materials and restructuring the course to meet the needs of modern students, this “flipped” curriculum offers the opportunity to make Latin a relevant part of higher education for many years to come.

After a full year of testing, Utah State’s flipped Latin program has proven a remarkable success. Every day the flipped classroom provided a positive learning experience, improved student attendance, and helped several students succeed who may not have in a traditional program. By the end of beta testing in Spring 2015, students gave the flipped program a perfect rating of five out of five on the IDEA course evaluation. They themselves said it best, calling LATN 1020 “by far the most influential class I’ll ever take” and “one of the best experiences of my life both in and out of academia.” The thesis recounts the journey toward and reasoning behind that success.

Comments

In a rapidly changing and increasingly technology-dependent world, instructors in higher education are often confronted with challenges and opportunities unfamiliar to their predecessors of only twenty years ago. Students and instructors have instant access to more and better information than ever before. Ebooks, Youtube, video conferencing, and online research databases allow modern students to learn many subjects with little more than their smart phone. While the internet provides nearly unlimited learning potential, most students flooding into universities are more familiar with checking their phones than checking out library books, creating an inherent divide between how most subjects have been traditionally taught and how today’s student is acculturated to learning.

To meet the needs of these new, millennial students, the Classics program at Utah State University has turned to the “flipped classroom,” one of the last decade’s most successful educational experiments. Utah State’s Beginning Latin program has harnessed the capabilities of the information age to improve the quality of beginning language classes and provided an essential initial step toward raising the quality of Latin education and opening the door to students anywhere in the world. By creating a series of online materials and restructuring the course to meet the needs of modern students, this “flipped” curriculum offers the opportunity to make Latin a relevant part of higher education for many years to come.

After a full year of testing, Utah State’s flipped Latin program has proven a remarkable success. Every day the flipped classroom provided a positive learning experience, improved student attendance, and helped several students succeed who may not have in a traditional program. By the end of beta testing in Spring 2015, students gave the flipped program a perfect rating of five out of five on the IDEA course evaluation. They themselves said it best, calling LATN 1020 “by far the most influential class I’ll ever take” and “one of the best experiences of my life both in and out of academia.” The thesis recounts the journey toward and reasoning behind that success.

Included in

History Commons

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