Authentically Designing for Empathy: Developing the Social and Emotional Intelligence of Learners Utilizing Immersive Learning and Design

Concurrent Session 4

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Brief Abstract

Combat Veterans: The Physical, Emotional & Social Costs of War is an immersive online learning experience in which students embark on a unique 15-week journey through the military deployment cycle. This course utilizes the power of transmedia storytelling to help deepen empathy and understanding of the challenges facing our combat veterans.

Presenters

Tina Blaschke-Thompson, LMSW (MSU), is the Statewide Blended and Weekend MSW Program Coordinator and Clinical Instructor for the School of Social Work at MSU. Her teaching includes policy advocacy, lifespan development, introduction to infant mental health, and an immersive course on combat veterans.

Extended Abstract

More than 2.7 million troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.  As many as 20% of these combat veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD and an average of 21,000 Traumatic Brain Injuries have been diagnosed each year since 2000.  Suicide now takes more lives than war, with 22 veterans committing suicide every day.   The need for culturally competent social work service is immense.  How do we cultivate the talents and strengths of our social work students to become culturally competent when dealing with various subsets of our population?

 

Take a journey through Michigan State University’s School of Social Work course,  Combat Veterans: The social, emotional, and physical impacts of War. An immersive online learning experience in which students embark on a unique 15-week journey through the military deployment cycle, this course utilizes the power of transmedia storytelling to shape an experience designed to deepen empathy and understanding. This session will explore the behind-the-scenes view of course design along with student reactions and reflections on the realities of war. Participants will hear from both designers and instructors of the course, as well as have the opportunity to discuss, share, and contribute to this one of a kind experience.  All attendees will leave with a clear understanding of the process, design thinking, and teamwork involved in creating an immersive learning experience.