David Neville

Associate Professor of German in the Department of World Languages and Cultures
Carlton Building 213
2125 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
dneville@elon.edu (336) 278-5889

Brief Biography

Dr. David Neville earned a PhD (2002) in German Language and Literature, with an emphasis in Medieval Studies and Latin, from Washington University in St. Louis. Having developed an interest in the digital humanities, Dr. Neville continued his post-doctoral studies in the Computer Science Department at Weber State University before transferring to the Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University, where he earned a MS (2008) with an emphasis in Computer Science and Business Information Systems. His current research investigates how 3D digital game-based learning (3D-DGBL) environments assist learners in configuring mental narratives that can be used in the second language acquisition process. Other research interests include representations of the body in the writings of 13th-century German nuns and beguines, as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) in the areas of language for specific purposes (LSP), blended learning environments, and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Education

M.S., Utah State University: Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences; Minor in Computer Science and Business Information Systems (2007).

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis: German Language and Literature; Minor in Latin and Medieval Studies (2002).

DAAD Fellow, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (1999-2000).

M.A., Washington University in St. Louis: German Language and Literature (1997).

B.A. with University Honors, Brigham Young University: German Language and Literature; Minor in Russian (1994).

Employment History

Elon University
(2014-Present)
Associate Professor of German
Department of World Languages and Cultures

(2008-2013)
Assistant Professor of German and Director of Language Learning Technologies
Department of World Languages and Cultures

Utah State University
(2006-08)
Instructional Designer and Blackboard Administrator
Faculty Assistance Center for Teaching (FACT)

(2004-06)
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Languages, Philosophy, and Speech Communication

Washington University in St. Louis
(2002-03)
Lecturer and Instructional Technology Specialist 
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Courses Taught

German 121: Introduction to German Language and Culture, Part I. This course is a contextualized grammar-based approach to developing the four language skills in first-semester German language students. The course immerses students in a project-based environment that helps them to discover how language and sociocultural identity in German-speaking countries are interconnected. 

German 122: Introduction to German Language and Culture, Part II. This course is a contextualized grammar-based approach to developing the four language skills in second-semester German language students. A semester-long project requires students to write a film script and then produce it utilizing Web-based video editing software.

German 324: Germany in the New Millennium. This course examines Germany’s changing identity, politics, and values in the new millennium. An in-depth look at current events shaping Germany is grounded in a study how key figures and moments in German history—from the medieval era to the 20th century—continue to influence the people, politics, and institutions of Germany today. Topics of study may include: questions of Heimat; issues of migration and identity (immigrants, Turkish-Germans, religion, multiculturalism); medievalism; genius and inspiration (Nietzsche, Wagner, Beethoven, the Gesamtkunstwerk); the role of Germany in the European Union and the world. The course makes use of news broadcasts and news websites, contemporary film, short fiction, and other cultural products.

GST 264: Love, German Style - A Romantic Introduction to German Culture. “Can anybody tell me,” asks the medieval German poet Walter von der Vogelweide, “what love is?” This course, an introduction to German culture and history, will seek to formulate an answer to this deceptively simple question by examining this fundamental human emotion through the lens of representative German texts and media. Shaping who we are and how we both interpret and interact with our environment, our own experience with this emotion will help to provide access to larger cultural, political, religious, psychological, sexual, and identity discourses in German society, both past and present. Special emphasis in the course will be placed, among other things, on depictions of gender roles, personal and social identities, representations of men and women, interpersonal and multicultural relationships, love as a stabilizing and/or destructive force, platonic and erotic love, the public and private lives of love, courtly love, and love as a divine imperative. Not intended to encourage superficial cultural spelunking, this course will provide us with numerous opportunities to view central human issues from other cultural perspectives, question and possibly reformulate our own thinking on these issues, and situate ourselves within wider and interconnected cultural networks.

GST 398: Warriors, Intellectuals, and Supermen – The Hero in the German Cultural Imagination. Whether facing a fire-breathing dragon with a broadsword or conquering the far-reaches of the known universe with a Geth pulse rifle, the hero is frequently depicted as a solitary figure who must overcome impossible odds and endure strenuous physical hardships in order to accomplish his mission. The actual construction of the heroic figure, however, is much more complex and is ultimately formed through an intricate interplay of social norms and cultural expectations, both explicitly stated and implicitly suggested. Relying on texts primarily from the larger German tradition, the seminar will examine the development of the heroic figure through time and across a broad range of texts, including heroic poetry, epic poetry, Arthurian romance, chapbook, epistolary novel, opera, memoir, film, fantasy, graphic novel, and video game. Purpose of the seminar will be to interrogate the manner in which the heroic figure is constructed over time in Western culture, to evaluate how society and culture shape this construction, and to determine what it means to be a hero today. Seminar participants will play a contemporary video game (e.g., Mass Effect 3) in order to examine its protagonist within the interpretive framework developed through our class readings and discussions and to experience first-hand the manner in which a pure “reading” of its heroic narrative is troubled by player agency and ludic activity. The seminar capstone experience will be a student-led conference where course participants will present their research to a broader audience.

Current Projects

The DigiBahn Project

The DigiBahn Project is a 3D graphic adventure game that teaches students German recycling and waste management practices in a simulated real-world space. Future versions of the game will include challenges requiring students to navigate a virtual German train station and environs while meeting specific instructional goals such as purchasing a train ticket, locating the appropriate track, making sense of arrival and departure tables, and interacting with non-player characters (NPCs). The DigiBahn Project builds on current developments in second language acquisition (SLA) by developing an immersive and goal-oriented 3D learning environment informed by theories of situated cognition and sociocultural theory.

The Business German Program

The Business German Program is a Web-based blended learning environment layered over an existing lower-level German language and culture curriculum to provide interested students with the opportunity to learn business-specific language skills. The program utilizes a contextualized grammar-based approach that situates practice of the German language and culture within the framework of genres typically found on a daily basis in a German work environment. Project-based coursework help students create robust mental schemata that facilitates knowledge transfer between the classroom and situations they will encounter in the real world.

The Business German Speaker Series

The Business German Speaker Series brings representatives from German-based businesses in the Southeast United States to Elon University for the purpose of discussing their respective field (e.g., biotechnology, chemistry, engineering, software development, logistics), how the field will most likely develop in the coming decade, what students should do in order best to prepare themselves for a profession in the field, and how knowledge of the German language and culture is critical for the field.

Publications

Refereed Publications

Neville, D. (invited submission) Cultivating early trajectories of participation: Blended learning environment for business German, Best Practices for Undergraduate German Programs.

Neville, D. (forthcoming in 2014). The story in the mind: The effect of 3D gameplay on the structuring of written L2 narratives., ReCall Journal: The Journal of the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning.

Neville, D. & Shelton, B. (2010). Literary and historical 3D-DGBL: Design guidelines. Simulation & Gaming: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theory, Practice and Research, 41(4), 607-629.

Neville, D. (2010). Structuring narrative in 3D digital game-based learning environments to support second language acquisition. The Foreign Language Annals, 43(3), 445-468.

Neville, D., Shelton, B., & McInnis, B. (2009). Cybertext redux: Using DGBL to teach L2 vocabulary, reading, and culture. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22(5), 409-424.

Neville, D. (2008). The bodies of the bride: The language of incarnation, transcendence, and time in the poetic theology of the medieval mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg. Mystics Quarterly: The Academic Journal Of Medieval Western-European Mysticism, 34(1-2), 1-34.

Neville, D. & Britt, D. (2007). A problem-based learning approach integrating foreign language into engineering. The Foreign Language Annals, 40(2), 226-246.

Neville, D. (2000). Divergent interpretations of women’s agency and Luther’s political agenda. In Hilary Collier Sy-Quia & Susanne Baackmann (Eds.), Conquering women: Women and the German cultural imagination (pp. 177-198). Berkeley, CA: International and Area Studies.

Neville, D. (1998). Unfashionable observations. The Modern Schoolman: A Quarterly Journal of Philosophy, 76(1), 61-66.

Neville, D. (1996). Giburc as mediatrix: Illuminated reflections of tolerance in Hz. 1104 (Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg). Manuscripta: A Journal for Manuscript Research, 40(2), 96-114.

Non-Refereed Publications

Neville, D. (2011). The future of language education: Facilitating collaboration through technology. The Language Educator, 6(5), 36-38.

Neville, D. (2009). In the classroom: Digital game-based learning in second language acquisition. The Language Educator, 4(6), 47-51.

Neville, D. (2009). Recession-proofing the profession with technology. The Language Educator, 4(2), 52-56.

Presentations

Selected Scholarly Presentations

Digital games and mental narratives: 3D digital game-based language learning (DGBLL) environments for second language acquisition. 10th Annual International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Conference. Raleigh, North Carolina, October 2-5, 2013.

Designs and discourses in digital game-mediated L2 learning. Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Conference, Notre Dame University, June 12-16, 2012.

Cultivating early trajectories of participation: Blended learning environments for teaching business German. Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) Business Language Conference. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, March 21-23, 2012. 

Configuring narratives and digital worlds: Video games for second language acquisition. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Convention and World Languages Expo 2011. Denver, November 18-20, 2011.

Report on 3D-DGBL environment for second language acquisition. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Convention and World Languages Expo 2011. Denver, November 18-20, 2011.

A digital game-based learning approach to developing situated cultural competency. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Convention and World Languages Expo 2009. San Diego, November 20-22, 2009.

Cybertext redux: Using interactive fiction to teach German vocabulary, reading, and culture. International Conference for the Learning Sciences. Utrecht University, The Netherlands, June 24-28, 2008.

Refining techniques for tying learning objectives to game-based learning activities. Teaching with Technology Idea Exchange 2007: The Open Conference on Technology in Education. Utah Valley State University, June 7-8, 2007.

The body as crossroads: Intersecting discourses on self, culture, and authority in Mechthild of Magdeburg's “Das fließende Licht der Gottheit.” Twenty-Fifth German Studies Association Conference. Washington, D.C., October 4-7, 2001.

Embodiment and desire in "The Flowing Light of the Godhead": Analogical language and the poetic theology of the beguine mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg. Aquinas Institute of Theology. St. Louis University. February 18, 2001.

Giburc as mediatrix: Illuminated reflections of tolerance in Nürnberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Graphische Sammlung Hz. 1104-1105. Twenty-Fifth Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies. St. Louis University, October 9-10, 1998.

Expanding the printed medieval German Bonaventurian corpus: An edition of “das buoch der betrachtunge” in Codex 396 Palatini Latini. Twenty-Fourth Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies. St. Louis University, October 10-11, 1997.

Divergent interpretations of women’s self-determination in “Eyn Geschicht wie Got eyner Erbarn Kloster Jungfrawen ausgeholffen hat” and Luther’s political imperative. The Fifth Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference on Conquering Women: Women, War, and Sexuality. UC Berkeley, March 14-16, 1997.

Selected Posters and Colloquia

Flipped classroom instruction. Teaching and Learning Conference, Elon University, Augsut 15, 2013.

Gaming your class: Using interactive fiction, 2D and 3D games as instructional platforms. Experience IT Training Workshop, Elon University, October 13, 2011.

Creating 3D virtual environments for education. 8th Annual Elon University Teaching and Learning Conference. Elon University, August 18, 2011.

3D digital game-based learning for second language acquisition (Poster). Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF). Elon University, April 27, 2011.

Students' use of evidence in language and cultural studies (Poster). Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, February 04-06, 2011.

Connecting via webcams: Developing linguistic and cultural competencies in L2 (Roundtable Presentation). American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Convention and World Languages Expo 2010.  Boston, November 19-21, 2010.

3D digital game-based learning for second language acquisition. THATCamp RTP. Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University. October 16, 2010.

Seeing eye to eye: Using webcams in the classroom. 7th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference. Elon University, August 19, 2010.

Getting game: Digital game-based learning for second language acquisition (Poster). American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Convention and World Languages Expo 2009. San Diego, November 20-22, 2009.

Language instruction to go: Best practices for efficient, student-centered podcasting in the L2 classroom. Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, February 20-22, 2009.

Digital game-based learning: Immersive approaches to German language and culture. Spring Conference of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German. University of North Carolina, Greensboro, February 14, 2009.

Web-based video streaming in the German conversation classroom. Eighth Annual Spring Forum on Education. Washington University in St. Louis, May 7, 2001.

Awards

External grants

NEH Summer Seminar: “Humanities Gaming Institute.” University of South Carolina, 07-25 June, 2010. 

Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD): “Jahresstipendium (One-Year Grant).” Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, 1999-2000.

Summer Medieval Institute in the Archival Sciences: “Medieval Latin Paleography and Codicology.” Newberry Library, Chicago, July 7 - 31, 1998.

Center for Medieval Studies Seminar: “Late Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books.” Newberry Library, Chicago, September 24 - November 26, 1996

Internal Grants

Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) Scholar, Elon University: “Using 3D Digital Game-Based Learning Environments to Enhance Second Language Acquisition.”

Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) Grant, Elon University: “Wide-Angle Learning: Streaming Media for Second Language and Culture Acquisition.” With Nina Namaste (Primary Author) and Victoria Tillson. 

Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) Grant, Elon University: “Digital Game-Based Learning for Second Language Acquisition.” 

Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences Grant, Elon University: "Computer Webcams and Headphones for Enhancement of Language Learning." With April Post (Primary Author). 

Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) Grant, Elon University: “A New Direction for the Language Media Center.