Ball State will launch free online courses this spring

The Daily News

Ball State student or not, there is still time for people to take advantage of free online classes offered by the university this spring.

Ball State is offering three different online courses beginning this spring. They will be hosted at, a website by the Canvas Network that provides free and open learning classes from colleges and educators.

One of the classes offered will study gender roles through comic books. A promotional video for “Gender Roles through Comic Books” was put together when the university had to compete with other colleges to get the class a slot on Canvas’ site. 

The video was narrated by Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-man, The Hulk and Iron Man

“He was totally receptive,” said graduate assistant Christina Blanch in a news release. “He is a big believer in education.”

Blanch met Lee at a Comic-Con a few years ago and the two stayed in touch. 

Blanch is an anthropology instructor and will teach the course, which will launch April 2. She has used comic books as reference pieces for other courses as well, and said events in society are reflected in comic books of that time.

“If you look at Superman in 1938, he was different than he was in the ‘50s and how he is now,” Blanch said.

The other two classes include a precalculus algebra course and a study of film noir class. 

The precalculus algebra course starts May 13 and will integrate graphics and animation to add interactivity to aid learning.

Richard Edwards, director of Ball State’s Integrated Learning Institute, will teach the film noir class, which starts March 11, and he said students will get to contribute to a film opinion database.

“We’re actually going to be doing location shooting at the Paramount Theatre in Anderson, Ind.,” Edwards said to the Star Press.

All three courses are designed to add interactivity for the digital platform they will be delivered on.

“We have six authors and artists that are doing live interviews where people can text and tweet in questions,” Blanch said.

Although the film noir class has hit its capacity, spots in the gender roles and algebra classes are still available.


More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue

Loading Recent Classifieds...