We’re happy to publish guest posts any time someone approaches us with an idea. Here’s the latest one:
Out of the Park Baseball as a Digital Game-Based Learning Project: The 1879 Northwestern League, Frank Bandle and the Omaha Green Stockings
(The full article, with all of the relevant data and screenshots, can be downloaded online.)
By Robert Roy Foresman
In the spring semester of 2015, I was given the opportunity to develop a digital history project at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Since my historical interest mainly involves baseball, and at that time I was researching the 1879 Northwestern Baseball League for a book, I was thinking about what options there might be to create a digital history project that included the 1879 NWBL. At that time, I had recently discovered that the league had only played half of its season when it folded in mid-July. One of the obvious historical questions that had been on my mind was that if a complete ‘championship season’ ran its’ course in 1879, who would have won? Was there a way to simulate the season that might provide this information? I had done this on other gaming platforms with contemporary baseball rosters and seasons.
Then, I realized that Out of the Park Baseball (OOTPB) provided a perfect opportunity to uniquely answer this question. This is how my idea for a digital history project came about. OOTP Baseball allows the user to recreate historical baseball leagues or even develop fictional leagues at the creators’ discretion. For this project, parameters were set to function in 1879, and the league with all the historical data gathered was included. The 36-game season was the framework for this ‘tryout’ that included a championship series occurring at the end of the simulated 1879 season. The simulation model was set for 10 seasons to give an impartial representation of what the actual results might have been if a whole season had been played.
The emergent digital game-based learning (DGBL) concept is attracting educational enthusiasts across the world. This article will follow that global trend and demonstrate how Out of the Park Baseball provides a valuable framework for classroom-based, DGBL projects. The aim of this article is to exhibit the benefits, learning outcomes and potential for DGBL baseball projects in college and high school classrooms. This commentary will also reveal that DGBL can provide learning engagement and motivation for students when given the opportunity to participate in similar DGBL ventures. The editorial will offer a brief explanation of DGBL and provide simulation results, comparative analysis and conceptual modeling for a DGBL baseball project utilizing Out of the Park Baseball. Additionally, the work will provide learning outcomes for the classroom project and includes a suggested reading list that potential instructors may access. The hope is that this article will be referenced as a curriculum development resource in future DGBL projects.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for the opportunity to collaborate further. The full article is free and open to the public. You may also download this article and others at my academia.edu profile.