Judy Walgren

Professor of Practice, School of Journalism Associate Director

Learning, Inclusivity and Accessibility, Feedback and Adaptivity

Studies show that media stories presented in VR formats prompt a higher empathetic response than static photo/text articles and a higher likelihood of participants to take “political or social action” after viewing. The School of Journalism needs funds to purchase immersive tools so that students can explore the creation and applications of immersive content.

Project Solution: 

  1. If this proposal is funded, it will allow the visual storytelling faculty and students addresses the Learning component by providing the tools and software necessary for visual storytelling students to create immersive content, which in turn provides a platform for them to learn about the conceptual considerations and approaches to the creation and dissemination of immersive media. These tools will also provide a foundation for students to analyze emerging ethical considerations around the creation and distribution of immersive content. Through hands-on learning, students will be able to understand the conditions where immersive tools work effectively and those that are better served by non-immersive approaches. As they create immersive stories themselves, students will be able to experience the variety of ways that immersive content can be manipulated to provide a predetermined outcome, which allows them to think about immersion in a more holistic framework.
  2. This proposed project addresses Inclusivity and Accessibility in a variety of ways. First of all, it provides direct access to the tools needed to create immersive content. Although drastically less expensive than even a year ago, immersive tools and software are still not readily available for some MSU students because of financial barriers. Having 360-degree cameras, spatial audio recorders, and various accessories that support immersive content creation available for check out and classwork will break down that barrier, so that students are able to graduate with an understanding of immersive media, its uses and best practices around creating this kind of content. In terms of accessibility, bringing students from all backgrounds and cultures into immersive content creation and considerations allows these students to think about how immersive media can be used to articulate their own unique experiences to audiences who might not have access to a particular community. Easy access to immersive tools also provides students from diverse communities the opportunity to build stories around their own life experiences. Traditional media content has been overwhelmingly created from an elitist, white perspective and we must be aware of and work to disrupt this legacy.
  3. This proposed project addresses Feedback and Adaptability by providing mechanisms for student input and collaboration during the story creation and critique processes for immersive storytelling. Furthermore, providing this equipment and software for students will increase engagement around visual storytelling, as a whole and will certainly inspire students to think critically about visuality. The project brings immersive storytelling into the engagement quiver for the School of Journalism, as well. Working in small groups on projects also supports peer to peer learning and more opportunities to increase engagement and collaborative processes.

Learn more about Judy Walgren (link to msu bio page – which would contain a link to contact her)