Innovative Experiences

Soon, doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field will no longer have to practice their surgical skills on unrealistic plastic body parts or scarce human cadavers, thanks to a simulated skin product being commercialized by two Ball State students.

The project is one of about a half dozen partnerships between Ball State entrepreneurship majors and the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, located in southern Indiana. The Military 2 Market partnership is a result of the military’s desire to commercialize patents developed by engineers at Crane as well as at various installations around the world.


Emmy Award-winning Sports Link immersive learning experience.

For example, students and their Navy mentors have also produced a “black box” device combining global positioning system, radio frequency identification, and other technologies to enable school districts and similar large fleet operators to better monitor their vehicles and those they carry—and possibly eliminate the problem of schoolchildren being abandoned on buses. 

In the last three years, 8,187 students have completed at least one of 514 immersive learning projects. Immersive learning experiences at Ball State involved 2,848 students in 2009–2010. Projects came from 44 academic departments and all seven colleges.

Here are some other examples of recent immersive learning projects:

  • Through the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, students created an original musical and score from the Hoosier novel The Circus in Winter. As part of the creative process, the students spent weeks researching the time period, meeting with the author, and soliciting advice from visitors in the theatre industry, including Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Sutton Foster.
  • With a growing number of Midwestern cities getting smaller, finding sustainable solutions to maintain the essence of their urban cores is a critical component of economic sustainability. Students enrolled in the EcoRehab course and immersive learning project study ecologically sound and sustainable rehabilitation of existing housing—all while swinging a hammer in the process.
  • Our Emmy Award-winning Sports Link immersive learning experience is the only national program in which college undergraduates produce broadcast content for Fox College Sports. Exclusive partnership means the nation’s top 25 TV market viewers see the work of 30 students majoring in journalism, telecommunications, and marketing. 

Goal 1, Objective B: Increase by 10 percent per year the number of students participating in immersive learning experiences. 

Goal 1, Objective B: By 2012, all departments will offer immersive learning experiences for each graduate.

Goal 3, Objective A: Foster and support activities of faculty, staff, and students that have the potential to lead to enterprising ventures.