Topics: Building Better Communities, College of Communication Information and Media, Immersive Learning

May 10, 2011

The rolling hills of southern Indiana and the state's early heritage are the stars of new videos produced by Ball State University students as part of the 2011 Indiana 500 Tour.

For the second consecutive year, Ball State is partnering with the Association of Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureaus (AICVB) in an effort to spur tourism. In 2009-10, Ball State students helped create a web site that highlighted the northern half of Indiana.

The first full week of May annually serves as National Travel and Tourism Week across the country. It also is Visit Indiana Week. As part of this kickoff to the travel season, AICVB identifies 500 must-see miles for visitors looking for summer getaway opportunities. AICVB coordinated a series of events May 10 in various southern Indiana communities to announce the 2011 tour.

The new videos may be found at

Over the last several months, students from the university's Building Better Communities (BBC) Fellows program created the four 90-second videos showcasing the natural beauty, Ohio River heritage, early history and Lincoln's legacy as the famous president's  boyhood home.  The immersive learning class consisted of four teams assigned to each video project. Telecommunications instructor Rod Smith taught the 18-student class.

"Our students did a great job in showcasing the look and feel of southern Indiana, which should give visitors to the site an idea of how visually stunning that part of the state is," Smith said. "Without a doubt, the students took their video production skills to the next level thanks to this project.

"From an immersive learning standpoint, this was a great opportunity for our students to work directly with AICVB as the client. The student teams were in charge of setting up meetings with the statewide organization and then working directly with local visitor and convention bureaus as well as local business owners at the various sites."

The 2012 Indiana 500 Tour will focus on central Indiana's rich arts and cultural offerings.