Apply for the Virtual Summer Institute

Virtual Summer Institute: Data Visualization with Digital Learning Technology Platforms

June 1-5, 2020, 10:00AM-3:00PM timeframe, schedule to be determined

This virtual summer institute allows selected faculty and graduate students to explore the pedagogic possibilities of three exciting large-scale digital learning technology platforms available at MSU:

  • The Abrams Planetarium
  • 360 Degree Panoramic Room in the Library’s Digital Scholarship Lab
  • Science On a Sphere at the MSU Museum

Data Visualization Graduate Fellows and their mentors will learn about the affordances and the limitations of each facility and how they are best suited for different types of data representation. Participants will collaborate towards innovative and interdisciplinary ideas for capitalizing on one or more of the platforms, and develop course modules that can engage students in novel forms of active learning in immersive digital arenas.

Applicants are invited from across the entire university; all disciplines and interdisciplinary perspectives are welcome. Graduate students may apply individually, or paired faculty members and graduate students may apply together. Participants are expected to develop and submit a teaching module for use in an upcoming course they are teaching. See application details below.

Program Content

In the workshops, participants will:

  • Assess and compare the learning affordances of different educational technology platforms
  • Explore ways to experience and teach complex natural and/or cultural phenomena through immersive representations and narratives
  • Practice designing immersive digital stories using the three projection spaces
  • Develop a teaching module, which includes formal assessment, for use in a course they are teaching in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and/or Summer 2021
  • Submit/present their modules to the Summer Institute facilitators

We will learn about the capabilities of the Abrams Planetarium, the 360 immersive display in the Library Digital Scholarship Lab, and Science On a Sphere at the MSU Museum to engage learners in a wide range of phenomena, including immersion in macrocosmic, environmental, and social spaces as well as renditions of microcosmic phenomena. Since this is a virtual experience, participants will be offered opportunities later to use the technology in person when this is allowed by the University.

Note: Participation in this Summer Institute may be something graduate participants can use as a mentored teaching project for the University Certification in College Teaching. Please contact the organizers for more information.

Co-conveners include the MSU Graduate School, Abrams Planetarium (Shannon Schmoll), MSU Libraries (Terence O’Neill and Amanda Tickner), and MSU Museum (Denice Blair and Teresa Goforth).

Stipend for Graduate Fellows: $500.00

To Apply

Please copy and paste the following information into an email and send to Elesha Newberry ( by 11:59 PM on April 17, 2020.

1. Name:
2. Email address:
3. Mailing address:
4. Phone:
5. Department:
6. Graduate student and/or faculty member:
7. What courses are you teaching in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and/or Summer 2021?
8. 1-2 paragraphs describing your preliminary ideas for incorporating digital visualization into your upcoming course(s)