What follows is a list of upcoming immersive learning projects. You can learn more about these offerings by contacting the instructor listed for each class. If you do not see a project that is right for you, please fill out our Immersive Learning Course Finder Form.
Watch the video and learn why you should do immersive learning.
iMade @ MadJax: Intersections of the arts, industry, downtown Muncie, and Ball State University students with the East Central Neighborhood.
MadJax Makerforce, under the parent organization, Sustainable Muncie Corporation, is located
at the important intersection of Madison and Jackson streets in the northeast corner of
downtown Muncie. Moreover, the former Cintas Building has been repurposed as a significant
creative locus at the intersection of local artists, makers, downtown Muncie and the East
Central Neighborhood (containing both the Emily Kimbrough Historic District, and the Kirby
Historic District). As such, the Madjax facility serves as an important gateway to this historic
neighborhood and a transition from downtown commerce to a residential neighborhood.
Additionally, Madjax is located in close proximity to the Cornerstone Center for the Arts, the
Plyspace Gallery, and other related creative icons and destinations forming a centralized
Muncie’s arts district. Articulated as such, significant improvements in wayfinding, transitioning
from vehicular to pedestrian experiences, and pedestrian scale projects will help situate MadJax
with a better urban and community relationship to its neighbors, and serve to help public
engagement with infrastructure for important staged events such as the Muncie’s First
Thursday Arts Walk, and other planned events within the district.
iMade: Design-through-Production work operates out of the facilities of MadJax with an
agreement with Ball State University and serves immersive learning engagement with applied
research opportunities that intersect Ball State University with Muncie in a tangible and
productive way. Further, through the design-through-production methodology, and a host of
industry partnerships, these real-world projects intersect local industry and community
partnerships. Real, full-scale, student-driven projects are produced with community partners in
consultation with industry partnerships and material sources. Design-through-Production
involves the direct application of design and fabrication and enables students the ability to
prototype with with larger scale equipment and consult with the expertise of the manufacturing
industry partners in Indiana.
With the support of the Building Better Neighborhoods grant, the work of the iMade seminar,
will focus on solving existing problems with human-scale design/build projects at the
intersections around the perimeter of MadJax, and form more solid connections to the
neighborhood, streets, and parking.
For more information, contact Kevin Klinger, Department of Architecture.
Book Arts Collaborative
ENG 375, ENG 421
We are offering two courses at Book Arts Collaborative during Fall 2021. Both will include learning to hand-sew and bind journals and books and to print using 19th Century moveable type. Both will also work with the newly acquired Holman Type Archive. ENG 375, Book Arts Collaborative, will also give students hands-on experience at running a student-managed business, and ENG 421 provides a long historical view of the making and importance of books.
For more information, contact Dr. Rai Peterson, Department of English. Check out the project pitch.
Computer Science for Muncie (and surrounding) Schools (CS4MS+)
CS 341: Computer Science Community & School Outreach
Can be taken for 1, 2, or 3 credit hours per semester.
Can be taken multiple semesters, up to a total of 6 credit hours.
Partnering with local schools, the project team will research, develop, curate, and deliver instructional resources which incorporate Computer Science (CS) into educational offerings, with a focus on the Indiana CS academic standards, and will work to advance teachers’ understanding of CS and/or interact with their students as a teaching assistant. Although CS student focused, an interdisciplinary project team will be sought, with another project focus being to expose underrepresented minorities and females to CS.
For more information, contact Dave Largent, Department of Computer Science. Check out the project pitch.
Making Community-Engaged Games
Fall: CS215 Introduction to Game Design (3 credit-hours)
Spring: CS490 Software Production Studio (3 credit-hours)
Students will work with Minnetrista to create original games for public distribution. These games will explore the core mission and supporting stories of Minnetrista, emphasizing themes of community collaboration. The Fall semester will serve as a research and development opportunity in which students create prototypes, and a Spring production team will be recruited to translate the best of these into publishable works.
For more information, contact Dr. Paul Gestwicki, Department of Computer Science. Check out the project pitch.
This immersive learning project partners with Muncie Action Plan to create an online, interactive map that details and promotes organizations advancing sustainability issues in greater Muncie. Journalism students will produce original media content highlighting various organizations during Fall 2021, and Geography students will incorporate that content into a publicly available online map during Spring 2022. The project culminates in a Sustainability Summit for local sustainability organizations, and future iterations will expand more broadly across Indiana.
OVERVIEW: The goal of this interdisciplinary immersive learning project is to enrich the student experience of 32 undergraduate students in Journalism and Geography through production of an interactive, online map featuring original media content about sustainability-oriented organizations in East Central Indiana, primarily those located in Muncie. Journalism students will develop the media content in Fall 2021, then Geography students will incorporate this content into an engaging online map during the Spring 2022 semester. Sustainability is defined here by an emphasis on three foundational pillars: environmental care, social responsibility, and economic vitality. Although East Central Indiana is not perceived as a sustainability-oriented region, there are many local organizations focused on sustainability. Promoting these organizations via media content housed in a publicly available, interactive digital map directly supports the goals of our primary community partner, Task Force 5 of the Muncie Action Plan (MAP). While in this project the Project Directors will concentrate on non-profit organizations identified by Task Force 5, and while we may have greater representation of regional nonprofits, they also will consider organizations from the for-profit sector, demonstrating that sustainability and business can indeed coexist. Supporting this approach, the secondary partner, IUPUI Office of Sustainability, has indicated that sustainable activity within the for-profit sector is not well-documented in Indiana.
PHASE ONE, FALL 2021, JOURNALISM: Approximately 16 Journalism and Telecommunications students will complete the first stage of this collaborative project. The primary goal of Phase One is to visit selected organizations, as identified with assistance from our primary partner (MAP), to create media content that highlights their activity addressing sustainability issues. While the deliverables will be determined by discussions between students and the community partners, the Project Directors anticipate that each organization will have a similar array of media content, e.g. interviews with CEOs or Executive Directors, 360˚ virtual tours, informative video/audio public service announcements, and/or written summations that chronicle ways in which each organization prioritizes its sustainability efforts. In this pilot project, the Project Directors expect to feature eight sustainability-oriented organizations from the non-profit and business sectors. The sixteen students in the Specialty Reporting course (NEWS 418) will work in pairs and assume primary responsibility for how to feature each organization. The class will work together to support each student pair and to work toward creating consistent products across groups. For example, Dr. Kuban will use peer-editing exercises and peer-critique discussions after content deadlines, so that students can see what their peers have created as well as engage in conversations regarding how to improve the content deliverables. This approach should lead to consistent media content from one organization to the next.
For more information, contact Dr. Adam Kuban, Department of Journalism. Check out this flyer.
Visualizing the Ethnographic Voices of Community Revitalization
In this immersive project, students will seek to contribute to Ball State University’s Community Engagement and Impact goals by formalizing the already established community relationship with the RCC. Our students will collaboratively work with community members to produce a series of visual ethnographies.Visual ethnographies are the use of audio-visual media tools (e.g., video, photographs), that have been used in interdisciplinary fields (e.g., anthropology, sociology, journalism, etc.) to document and analyze how tacit knowledge, materials, and cultural representations are implicated in a community (Pink, 2013).
During this immersive learning project, students will build an advanced understanding of diversity, develop their interviewing and photography skills, and contribute to an on going community revitalization project. As part of the project, students will partner with staff and members of the Ross Community Center (and by extension, the Thomas Park/Avondale community in Muncie) to develop visual ethnographies, documenting community issues, opportunities, and goals that contribute to community revitalization.
For more information, contact Dr. Gabriel Tait, Department of Journalism. Check out the flyer.
Writing and the Environment
English 409: Creative Writing in the Community
This course is an immersive, service-learning opportunity for students to partner with local environmental organizations such as Red Tail Nature Conservancy and Mounds State Park. Students will teach creative writing workshops, create “experiences” such as literature-themed hikes, and gather stories from local patrons to strengthen their connections to place. To prepare for this work, we will learn strategies for community engagement, and develop workshop exercises to practice our own writing. Students will also apply design skills to create materials such as literary maps and guides, brochures, trail markers, or workbooks. By engaging with our partner organizations, students are invited to learn more about the history of our local environment and consider the important connection between writing and placemaking. In addition to their own creative writing, students can expect to write frequent reflections and participate in collaborative workshops with their peers.
For more information, contact Katy Didden, Department of English. Check out the project pitch.
ART 370 (3 cr)
Interdisciplinary teams of students work with faculty and consulting scientists to produce children’s books about wildlife conservation. The team writes and illustrates the book, contributes photos used in the book, create the graphic design, and develop promotional and learning materials. The team will travel to observe scientists in the field, including in Costa Rica in Spring 2022. This project will require a portfolio and resume to apply.
For more information, contact Dr. Tom McConnell, Department of Biology and Barbara Giorgio-Booher, School of Art. Check out the project pitch.