- PhD in Media and Information Studies, Michigan State University
- MS in Applied Sociology, Clemson University
- BA in Sociology, Augusta State University
Dr. Ball is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism. Before joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he was a research assistant and instructor while working on his PhD at Michigan State University. During this time, he worked extensively on various grant funded research projects and he taught a number of cutting-edge courses. In addition to his PhD, he also obtained graduate certifications in both Educational Technology as well as Serious Game Design and Research. Before beginning his doctoral studies, he was employed as a research associate at Clemson University where he designed and tested educational virtual world programs.
Dr. Ball’s research interests involve the influence of new technologies on society and how these technologies can be studied and harnessed for research, education, and outreach purposes. More specifically, his research focuses on the use of interactive media and technologies such as video games, virtual worlds, and virtual reality to foster pro-social outcomes and experiential learning across the life course.
Dr. Ball has published collaborative research spanning a multitude of technology-related topic areas, demographic populations, and research methodologies. As a result, he has been published in various top-tier journals such as Information, Communication & Society; Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking; the Journal of Applied Gerontology; the Journal of Medical Internet Research Mental Health; and Games and Culture.