Immersive Learning

Characteristics of Immersive Learning

Immersive learning is more than just school-sponsored service through internships and co-ops. 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 have come together with faculty mentors and community partners to create business plans, inspire community wellness initiatives, and reconfigure city transportation, just to name a few.

The university has developed the following guidelines to distinguish immersive projects from other forms of experiential learning. To be considered immersive, a project must:

  • carry academic credit
  • engage participants in an active learning process that is student-driven but guided by a faculty mentor
  • produce a tangible outcome or product, such as a business plan, policy recommendation, book, play, or DVD
  • involve at least one team of students, often working on a project that is interdisciplinary in nature
  • include community partners and create an impact on the larger community as well as on the student participants 
  • focus on student learning outcomes
  • help students define a career path or make connections to a profession or industry

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. Various grants—including the Provost Immersive Learning Grant—are available to fuel these transformative endeavors.

To learn more about immersive learning at Ball State, read about our featured immersive learning projects or connect with Building Better Communities (BBC, which matches Ball State’s expertise and resources with community partners throughout the state. The Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry has been exploring the connections among the arts, humanities, sciences, and technology through student-produced projects since 2000.