Immersive Learning

Explore Past Immersive Learning Projects

Project mentor: 
Ronald V. Morris, Department of History professor

Community partners: Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site and Friends of the Battle of Perryville

Project: Students involved in the project designed a model tour for the Kentucky State Park system in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Using GPS software, students created a phone application to allow visitors to learn about park history through a walking and driving tour. Their experience is enhanced with interpretative materials on their cell phone including maps and videos. When they see an interpretive kiosk, they activate it through their phone to listen to audio and view video content about the history of the state park.

Timeframe of project: Spring 2014

Student experience/skill set needed: All students were welcome and included those studying animation, anthropology, art, communication, computer science, English , visual communication (graphic design), geography, history, historic preservation, interpretation, journalism, landscape architecture, military science, natural resources, telecommunication, and related fields. 

Credit hours: 3

For more information: Ronald V. Morris

Project mentor: Ruth Jones, Department of Special Education assistant professor

Community partners: Blackford County Community Foundation, Blackford County Schools, and Mackey/McCammon Farms

Project: This project is ongoing providing camping experiences for school-age children with disabilities during summers 2011, 2012, and 2013. The camp served 13 children during the first two summers and nearly doubled to serve 24 children in 2013.

Campers for 2014 are ages eight years or older. This day camp provides a two-week experience. Campers rotate through four stations each day. Stations for 2013 included experiences in swimming, ceramics, sports, and exercise (week 1); and equestrian, art, science, and music/movement (week 2). Camp 2014 will be at the Blackford County High School and the Mackey/McCammon Farm. Transportation for Ball State students to and from camp is provided through a Provost’s Immersive Learning Grant.

Prerequisite training during the spring included background in understanding children with disabilities; CPR training; CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) training; field trips to the camp sites; marketing to potential campers; and planning and preparing for camp activities. Ball State students worked in small teams to plan activities. Those same teams implement the plans during the camp weeks. Families are not charged for their child(ren) to participate. All materials, snacks, and lunches are provided by grants and donations.

Timeframe of project: Prerequisite training was during the spring 2014; camp (and enrollment in SPCE299X) will be during first summer session 2014.

Student experience/skill set needed: All students were welcome. We had students from fields of study including nursing, communication, education, technology, pre-dental, and pre-med. Each project we’ve had numerous tasks to complete: marketing, planning, purchasing, working with community partners and campers, and other responsibilities. All team members serve as camp counselors. The important thing is to be interested in providing a high quality summer experience for children and in building lasting friendships by participating on an amazing team.

Credit hours: 3 credits in SPCE299X

For more information: Ruth Jones

Project mentors: Joseph Levitt, School of Music associate professor; Christopher Flook, Department of Telecommunications instructor; Sonny Wingler, Department of Telecommunications instructor; Michael Brandenburg, alumnus; William Bryant, University Teleplex production manager

Community partners: Anderson Children’s Choir, WIPB-TV, and Dodd Technologies

Project: Opera as an art form that has been around since the beginning of the 17th century and film since 1889. Both media are well-established and beloved forms of entertainment. Each art form stands on its own and will be with our cultures for the foreseeable future.

This experience allowed Ball State students from the School of Music and Department of Telecommunications to create from scratch a combined operatic and film experience—culminating with two live performances on April 4 and April 6 in Sursa Performance Hall. Singers from the Anderson Children’s Choir participated, and as a special guest, alumnus and recent winner of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Michael Brandenburg, returned to campus to sing the title role of Werther.

While the performances themselves are important, it is equally important to reach out to the community and generate interest in opera and film. A dress rehearsal of the performance was open to the Muncie and Anderson area schools. To reach an even wider audience, our community partner, WIPB-TV recorded, edited, and will broadcast a performance on their PBS station—a first for the Ball State University Opera Theatre. Depending on the quality of the recording, WIPB-TV may offer the performance for broadcast to affiliate PBS stations.

This project provided opportunities for Ball State students to engage in planning, rehearsing, designing, filming, and performing in an authentic professional experience. Students collaborated on not only the creative aspect of the project such as learning roles, make-up, costumes, performing, and filming, but also the business model of communicating the benefits of this performance to the target audience. 

Approximately 70 students from the School of Music rehearsed and performed major and secondary roles, chorus roles, and played in the Ball State Symphony Orchestra. Another 10 students from the Department of Telecommunications created, designed, and filmed movies of varied length that was projected during strategic times during the performance. Additional students from the School of Music’s music media production ran the audio and video feeds to the WIPB Station, worked the cameras, and called the cues.

The films themselves are unique, using varied film techniques, media, and style and represented emotional aspects of the story—either during arias or orchestral interludes. 

Timeframe of project: Spring 2014

Student experience/skill set needed: telecommunication, filmmakers, undergraduate, and graduate singers from the School of Music (classical training and audition based)

Credit hours: 1

For more information: Joseph Levitt

Project mentor: Janet Fick, Department of Technology instructor, architect, LEED-AP

Community partner: Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity

Project: Habitat for Humanity has expanded their focus from strictly new construction to include remodeling existing houses that they have acquired. The houses are in need of different levels of rehabilitation. Each project starts with creating measured existing drawings, but vary after that depending upon the condition of the home.

As a class, students worked with future residents of the house to determine the scope of work needed, compiled a budget, and made recommendations for remodeled plans and/or finishes. The class involved working within the design and preconstruction phases before construction begins.

Timeframe of project: Spring 2014

Student experience/skill set needed: Combination of majors, specifically construction management, architecture, interior design, historic preservation students as well as those with residential remodeling experience 

Credit hours: 3

For more information: Janet Fick

Project mentors: Rod Smith, Department of Telecommunications instructor; and Sonny Wingler, Department of Telecommunications instructor

Community partners: Film Indiana and Indiana Media Production Alliance

Project: Igniting Indiana’s Film Industry is a program that assisted in marketing, energizing, and bringing awareness to Indiana’s film industry. Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio have incentivized film and television production with tax breaks to production companies. Indiana, however, does not have such a program. Two organizations have consistently worked to change this: Film Indiana and the Indiana Media Production Alliance. They’ve advocated the state legislature to add such a program.

The goal of this project was to support these organizations’ efforts by sending five teams of Ball State students to various key locations around the state of Indiana to shoot, direct, and produce short films. The films showcase a diverse set of narratives in unique locations, backdrops, and settings. It also engaged student teams with communities around the state of Indiana while exhibiting immersive learning as well.
Once completed, Film Indiana and the Indiana Media Production Alliance were provided with five short films to promote, showcase, and exhibit the concept of film production in the state of Indiana.

Timeframe of project: Spring 2014

Student experience/skill set needed: English (undergraduate and graduate scriptwriting),
telecommunications (video production, video post-production, field audio, and
post-audio), theatre (acting), music media production and industry (music

Credit hours: TCOM 497 (3), TCOM 333 (3), or ID 495 (3)

For more information: Kelli Huth 

Project mentors: Nina Yssel, Department of Special Education associate professor; and Miki Hamstra, Director of Center for Gifted Studies and Talent Development

Community partners: Burris Laboratory School

Project: Albert Einstein. Muhammad Ali. Eleanor Roosevelt. Stephen Hawking. Winston Churchill. Whoopi Goldberg. Pablo Picasso. Steven Spielberg. George Washington.

What do these remarkable individuals have in common? Each of them is twice exceptional—they are both intellectually gifted and have a learning disability.

Exceptional Me: Unlocking Individual Student Potential with a Digital Aide Smart Phone is a project in which Ball State immersive learning students researched and designed an iPhone app to maximize individual potential. Students studied two populations of identified students (gifted and special education) at Burris Laboratory School in order to identify barriers to academic success; review current education and personal management apps on the market; and design their own solution integrated into one app that captures both the enrichment and learning strategies needs.

Timeframe of project: Spring 2014

Student experience/skill set needed: All students were welcome with requests for those studying special education, visual communication, and emerging media and those familiar with learning strategies used with special populations, understanding of differentiated classroom management tactics, experience with mobile app design, display of information graphics and text, and some knowledge of geo-fencing. 

Credit hours: 3

For more information: Miki Hamstra