Anthropology Field Trips/Field Schools and Immersive Learning Experiences

Several field trips/field schools were offered in the past through the BSU Department of Anthropology. Some of these field opportunities were offered as immersive learning experiences for students. Similar opportunities will be offered to students summer 2013. Please ask relevant faculty members for information related to these opportunities. The field page will be updated for 2013 as information becomes available.

What are immmersive learning experiences?

Immersive learning experiences (ILEs) are now being offered campus-wide to Ball State University students. Immersive learning experiences are a central feature of Ball State University's current Strategic Plan. Immersive learning experiences provide the opportunity for students to work in close collaboration with faculty and peers on goal-oriented or problem-solving research projects. These opportunities provide collaborative experience for students and in turn result in tangible outcomes, such as a publication, conference presentation, or a documentary video.  Ball State University's definition of immersive learning experiences is included at the bottom of this news column.

Students interested in summer field opportunities are encouraged to contact faculty members listed below for additional information.

Archaeology Field Schools

Historic Archaeology Field School in Indiana faculty contact: Dr. Mark Groover, Associate Professor, BSU Dept. of Anthropology, 765-285-3567, email:

Ball State's Immersive Learning Experience (from the BSU web page)

The immersive learning experience is the signature element of Ball State's "Education Redefined" initiative. Immersive learning is an intense learning and developmental activity that requires a student to progress well beyond merely learning to realize the intention and goal of education. The immersive learning experience is designed to bridge content knowledge, skill of application, societal need, and life-long learning. The citizen of the 21st century needs qualities and competencies not easily developed in a traditional teacher-centered classroom: the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams; an appreciation for an array of cultures; an understanding of diverse and changing societies. At Ball State, we create an educational experience that engages the whole person and fosters professional competence relevant for a lifetime of careers. Ball State's immersive learning experiences shift much of the responsibility of learning to the student. Stretching students through creative rather than directed inquiry, these experiences develop the ability to synthesize and problem solve. Students are required to work collaboratively in teams that are both multifunctional and multidisciplinary. Immersive learning experiences require students to manifest their learning in a tangible outcome that lives on and has utility beyond the duration of the experience itself. Through such transformative experiences students should better understand societal issues in global, local, economic, or environmental contexts. To achieve these goals, immersive learning experiences at Ball State have most or all of the following characteristics:

  • 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 a team of students, often working on a project that is interdisciplinary in nature
  • Include a community partner(s) 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