Creative, innovative, transforming…these words describe our immersive learning culture. As a cornerstone of a Ball State education, these challenging educational experiences take students outside the classroom and into the real world. Students emerge prepared take on a workplace filled with global competition and constant change.
Here are some examples that highlight our outcome measures from the Strategic Plan 2007-2012.
Expanding the Depth and Breadth of Immersive Learning
Recognizing the profound positive influence immersive learning experiences have on students, our colleges and academic departments are expanding the number and breadth of immersive learning opportunities. Here are just a few examples of recent and planned projects:
Goal 1, Objective B: By 2012, all departments will offer immersive learning experiences for each graduate.
Increasing Student Participation
Immersive learning opportunities for students are growing, thanks to the generous support from funding partners and the creative ideas and collaborative nature of our faculty members who see the positive impact these experiences have on students. In 2006–07, nearly 1,700 students took part in immersive learning experiences, and the number is continuing to rise.
Goal 1, Objective B: Increase by 10 percent per year the number of students participating in immersive learning experiences.
Support for Immersive Learning
The end product of immersive learning is that our graduates move into careers with skills beyond textbook learning. Not only do they have a strong intellectual knowledge base, they know how to work with others and how to drive projects to completion. They’ve been engaged in real-world problems with real budgets and deadlines. They know how to develop priorities in a team, how to lead a team, and how to collaborate as a team member. That brings results to society and to Ball State’s partners.
Foundations and philanthropists have been pioneers in supporting immersive learning.
Seven years ago, gifts from Virginia B. Ball and the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation helped to establish the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry with a founding gift of $2 million and, in recent years, additional support totaling $400,000. The Ball Brothers Foundation has also supported the one-of-a-kind center—which is a hub of immersive learning—with $400,000. In the fall of 2007, the George and Frances Ball Foundation provided a $6.5 million gift specifically to help make immersive learning an intrinsic element of every degree. Also, Phyllis and Hamer Shafer Foundation supported immersive learning with a $1 million gift this year.
The Lilly Endowment Inc. has a history of strong sponsorship, pledging $53 million over the last 10 years, including a recent $20 million grant that enabled the university to create four digital learning institutes, helping to make immersive learning pervasive.
Goal 1, Objective B: Provide each undergraduate with the opportunity to participate in an immersive learning experience.
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