About Us

IDEAL: Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning
IDEAL is the Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning Initiative. Supported by the Provost’s Office and housed in the Rhetoric Department, IDEAL promotes hands-on learning through innovative assignments.
IDEAL works with instructors to devise resources and develop projects that make classroom innovation easier. These projects ask students to engage with communities beyond the classroom by using digital technologies and creating work that endures beyond the semester. 

Current IDEAL projects

The Iowa Narratives Project
Students take their learning outside the classroom by interviewing community members.  Students bring these stories to a wider audience by creating podcasts and slideshows geotagged with GPS coordinates.
Archives Alive!
Students discover and transcribe archival texts in the University of Iowa Libraries’ DIY Histories. Students record a screencast in which they describe the meaning of the transcription process and related research in light of course concepts.
The IDEAL Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities Project
Undergraduate students partner with IISC projects in Iowa communities. The students capture still images, audio, and video that feature narratives relevant to IISC's work in the community.


IDEAL holds office hours in room 434/436 EPB. Students may check out audio and video recording devices through IDEAL Monday through Thursday from 9 to 4:30pm (Wednesdays until 3pm) and Fridays 11 to 1pm. Additional office hours available by appointment through ideal@uiowa.edu. Office hours will not be held during finals week.

Matt Gilchrist  Matt Gilchrist, Director and co-founder. Matt is a lecturer in the Rhetoric department.
Tom Keegan  Tom Keegan, Co-founder. Tom is head of Digital Research and Publishing in the University Libraries.
Kat Litchfield  Kat Litchfield, Operations Manager. Kat is a graduate student studying language, literacy, and culture in the College of Education.
Maya Nevels, Project Coordinator. Maya is an undergraduate student studying environmental policy. 

Anne Sand,  IDEAL TA

Gavin Feller, IDEAL TA