“The amazing team of students really rose to the occasion to listen to the needs of the partners at the park in order to enhance visitors’ experience as they roam the battlefield,” said Ron Morris, a Ball State history professor who led the immersive learning experience. “The visitor will be able to really see that they are standing on the same spot where soldiers of both sides stood, fought and bled.”
Students also provided detailed accounts of the days following the battle when farmers returned to their fields to find bodies strewn across the open countryside, said Zach Fivecoate, a Ball State senior.
"Producing a mobile app about one of the most important battles in the western theater of the Civil War was an amazing historical learning experience," he said. “Reading the blunt and direct quotes of the soldiers during the battle as well as those of local residents was a real learning experience.”
“We are always glad to partner with outside entities to make Perryville's history relevant to a broader audience,” said Chad Greene, president of the Friends of Perryville Battlefield. “This is an excellent way to bring the past into the future, and with this new app, we can offer another dimension to our visitors’ experiences. It gives students a real-world application and provides our visitors with a more satisfactory experience.”
Through the support of a Ball State Provost Immersive Learning Grant and the Friends of Perryville Battlefield, students were able to produce the app during their spring 2014 semester. The project was completed in cooperation with the university’s Building Better Communities Fellows and the Digital Corps.