Through a Ball State immersive learning course, Caitlin Maloney of Bolingbrook, Illinois, helped create a reenactment video, virtual walking tour, virtual museum, and an in-depth marketing plan to celebrate, preserve and promote Indiana history.

Maloney, a history major with minors in sociology and African American studies, worked with nine other students through this four-part course to learn new skills in multimedia history education.

“These projects taught me about the unique mediums for sharing history,” Maloney said. “I recorded audio for a website, helped on a historical reenactment video, learned how to build a website and how to market to new audiences – these are skills that empower me to tell the narratives of history in intriguing ways.”

One component of the course culminated in a short documentary film that featured students re-enacting the distinct roles of unsung revolutionary war heroes who brought Indiana to statehood. The students partnered with the Sons of the American Revolution and Ball State’s Digital Corps to learn the story of each war hero and to produce the documentary. The video can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/album/59362.

Maloney leveraged the virtual landscape by helping to create a historical virtual walking tour for eight districts in Putnam County, Indiana. Each 10-12 stop multimedia tour consists of narrative audio sound bites, written description and pictures that the students mapped, wrote, recorded, and researched. The tour can be accessed through phone or computer at http://heritagepreservationsociety.org/.

The junior also contributed to the creation of virtual museum that showcases Indiana’s role in the civil rights movement. The 90-exhibit online space displays the influential people, places and struggles that shaped Indiana. The virtual museum can be accessed through http://digitalresearch.bsu.edu/digitalcivilrightsmuseum/.

The final part of the course required the students to create a marketing plan for the Canal Society of Indiana, which aimed to connect the historical organization with a new demographic. Maloney is confident the series of marketing strategies will heighten the historical organization’s membership and influence in the community. 

“Ball State empowers me every day through classes, extracurricular activities, and the professors,” Maloney said. “I’ve been given so many extraordinary opportunities that have shaped me as a historian. Coming here was the best decision I ever made.”