Topics: College of Fine Arts, College of Communication Information and Media, Miller College of Business, Emerging Media, Immersive Learning

October 29, 2008

Want to know what's going on in college dorms these days? Ball State University students employ emerging media to offer an insider's perspective.

More than 50 Ball State University students worked together to create "Evenly Odd," a humorous webisode series with many bonus features. The project, which was coordinated by the College of Fine Arts, the Miller College of Business and the Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education (IDEE), will debut Nov. 10.
Along with the webisode series, students led the creation of a Web site, special features, behind-the-scenes footage and marketing around the story and characters. The in-depth initiative showcases Ball State's leadership in immersive learning and features a newly developed platform for interactive emerging media environments that can be used online as well as on tomorrow's digital televisions, says Rodger Smith, director of IDEE.
"'Evenly Odd' takes advantage of the monumental popularity of short-form video released on the Web and explores a more interactive way to view an online series," he said. "Students were challenged to not only create a series that would engage their peers but to also push the boundaries of emerging media. The students are daily consumers of these technologies, and soon, they will be leaders in this burgeoning industry."
Creating a wide variety of content is not enough, Smith added. Viewers need to be allowed to consume media tailored to their own personal tastes. Accordingly, "Evenly Odd" features a software package developed by IDEE that allows that to happen.
For example, audience members can choose to watch the main storyline or they can freeze it and click on one of the special features, such as one of the Dorm Stories. After viewing the feature, they can go back to the main story or continue exploring more features.
The webisode series will debut at an invitation-only event at 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Art and Journalism Building, room 175, or can be viewed later at
IDEE is one of four immersive learning institutes created at Ball State and administered by the Center for Media Design  as a result of a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to fund the Digital Exchange, an initiative expanding opportunities for students to participate in innovative, immersive educational experiences.