Immersive Learning

Getting Started: Faculty

At Ball State, we value learning and scholarship that synthesizes disciplinary knowledge with application to today’s most complex challenges.

Immersive learning enables you to blend your interests and educational focus with societal needs as you guide teams of engaged students committed to applying classroom knowledge to achieve real-world solutions. These personally and professionally enriching projects turn knowledge into judgment and judgment into action through unique, high-impact learning experiences that benefit business, community, and government partners across the state and around the world.

Distinctive characteristics—including student-driven projects, lasting outcomes, and community partnerships—set immersive learning apart from other experiential learning opportunities. Between 2007 and 2012, about 16,400 students from all seven colleges came together with faculty mentors and community partners to create business plans, inspire community wellness initiatives, and reconfigure city transportation, just to name a few.

“Immersive learning plays a critical role in helping students become informed and empowered citizens. It gives students the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in a ‘real world’ interdisciplinary context. Immersive learning brings the pieces together and prepares students to go into their communities and be engaged.”

—Jennifer Blackmer, associate professor of theatre , who worked with students on The Middletown Theatre Project

Project Formation

If you’re interested in creating an immersive learning project, discuss your vision with your department chair, curriculum committee, or a Presidential Immersive Learning Fellow. Many individuals across campus have been successful in transforming existing curriculum into immersive learning experiences. For support in such development, contact the Office of Educational Excellence, which offers immersive learning workshops and seminars throughout the academic year and during the summer terms.

An Immersive Learning Advisory Committee of faculty and administrators guides this core university initiative. Members of the committee are eager to provide you with support and help you find a project that blends your interests and educational focus with societal needs. Committee members will work with you to ensure your proposal aligns with the distinctive characteristics of immersive learning that separate these transformative projects from other experiential learning opportunities.

Establishing Partnerships

We are eager to help you prepare for and engage in an immersive learning project that inspires hands-on education with lasting results. Building Better Communities (BBC) and the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry work to connect faculty members, students, and community partners ready to participate in immersive learning opportunities. Immersive learning opportunities in need of additional faculty mentors or students are also often posted on the Ball State Communications Center under the Immersive Learning category. Faculty members in search of funding opportunities should contact Dr. Jackie Buckrop in the Office of the Provost.

While BBC and VBC often match faculty members with community partners in need, you are encouraged to reach out to businesses and organizations with the resources and inclination to partner with the university. Community partners are a required element of all immersive learning projects and frequently inform the direction of a particular program.

Funding Your Vision

Immersive learning is a core mission of the university, and as such, Ball State supports the projects through generous, competitive funding opportunities. Learn more about how the Virginia Ball Center and the Provost Immersive Learning Grant both fuel these transformative experiences.

In addition, the Immersive Learning Advisory Committee and the Assistant to the Provost can provide you with resources and guidance in identifying internal and external funding to support your immersive learning endeavors.