About   |  Online Innovation Studio & Escape Room  |   Schedule  |  About the Designers


What is the Innovation Studio & Escape Room?

The Innovation Studio & Escape Room has always been a hub for networking and a space to explore the pervasive challenges we face in the classroom and to craft innovative approaches for better reaching our unique populations of learners. And even though we have moved to a new online space this year, the spirit of the Innovation Studio & Escape Room lives on. 

What Can You Expect in the Online Innovation Studio & Escape Room? 

As you arrive at the Innovation Studio & Escape Room this year, you enter into the story of Maddie and Dan, as they work to reimagine the Innovation Studio & Escape Room for a digital landscape. Using their own multimodally represented story as an anchoring point and tapping into this year’s original conference theme (bridges), the 2020 Innovation Studio & Escape Room Co-Chairs invite folks to question What bridges look like in our current contexts? As well as How do we span spaces that aren’t physical? 

As you work your way through the Innovation Studio & Escape Room, you will have complete agency in your journey. Recognizing that it can be overwhelming to engage with in a new digital space for the first time, you will first be greeted by a dynamic tool which will help orient you to the studio and guide you as to where you might start based on your current needs and interests. 

As the Innovation Studio & Escape Room is designed around 4 primary pathways, which leverage a model of storytelling based around four primary “P’s,” along the way you will be asked to dive head first into considerations of story. You will be asked how you can incorporate concepts like Place, Purpose, People, and Plot into your learning spaces and the variety of ways in which story can help us understand the underpinnings of Design Thinking methods and process. You will also have frequent opportunities to return to and follow Maddie and Dan as central characters of the Innovation Studio & Escape Room this year (as the Co-Chairs vulnerably share their process, where they struggled, and how these four P’s ultimately helped them in identifying what was core to the design of a fully digital Innovation Studio & Escape Room for the OLC Innovate 2020 Virtual Conference). 

The Innovation Studio & Escape Room is playful in nature, embracing of failure, reflective by necessity, and lastly (and as always), a great place to build community and share ideas regarding the current and future of digital and online learning.

When Can You Engage with the Innovation Studio & Escape Room?


If you have been to the conference before and have stopped by the Innovation Studio & Escape Room, you might be expecting a few days of highly engaging programming in a face-to-face environment. Responding to the needs of the OLC and you all, we have moved to Innovation Studio & Escape Room to be a fully digital and fully asynchronous program this year. This means that you can pop into and out of the Innovation Studio & Escape Room space as your schedule permits (and at any hours of the day). Better still, the Innovation Studio & Escape Room online space will live on beyond the conference, giving you access to the many activities and resources that this year’s Co-Chairs have designed for you. Keep in mind, though, that the OLC Innovate is not a passive conference experience and this year in the Innovation Studio & Escape Room is no different! 

 Join us now in the 2020 Innovation Studio!  

3 lucky Escape room winners will receive a $25 OLC gift card and mug. 



Looking for synchronous opportunities to connect? Look no further! While the Innovation Studio & Escape Room itself is fully asynchronous this year, your two Co-Chairs (Maddie and Dan) will make occasional appearances in the Speed Networking Lounge and on OLC Live. Join them there for conversations around the Innovation Studio & Escape Room’s design this year or to engage in story-centered activities with Maddie, Dan, and the other fantastic members of the OLC Engagement Team. See the schedule below for more details on these fun opportunities.


Connect with Us

Want to learn more about the Innovation Studio & Escape Room and how you can get involved? Connect with us on social media with the hashtag #OLCInnovationStudio or join our channel in the OLC Slack Team https://olcinnovate.slack.com/. We’re excited to start the conversation, and looking forward to innovating with you!



Innovation Studio & Escape Room Schedule

Join us asynchronously in the Innovation Studio and Escape Room 24/7 at https://innovation-studio.org/

Or hop into the Speed Networking Lounge and OLC Live for fun synchronous discussions and professional development!

Wednesday 6.17 @ 1:00pm US EDTVirtual Speed Networking Lounge – Escape Room

Monday 6.22 @ 10:45am US EDTVirtual Speed Networking Lounge – The Innovation Studio



About the Studio Designers

Maddie Shellgren

Madeline (Maddie) Shellgren, Michigan State, Innovation Studio Co-Chair

Maddie’s intentional career path weaves throughout the world of higher education; from teaching, to academic technology and instructional design, leading program-level revisions, and designing and implementing campus-wide educator professional development, she now finds herself working as an Assistant Rowing Coach at Michigan State University. She loves working with educators in reimagining higher education and regardless of where in higher education she finds herself, is dedicated to systematic, equitable, and anti-oppressive institutional change. When not coaching, teaching, being a grad student, you can find her designing educational escape rooms, drawing up home renovations, gardening, or working on gameful approaches to educator development. 

Daniel Trego

Daniel Trego, Michigan State University, Innovation Studio Co-Chair

Daniel is an Educational Media & Design Specialist at Michigan State University. He works with students and faculty to design effective media for teaching and learning and is passionate about storytelling with a focus on empowering others to create and share their own experiences. 

Krys Ziska Strange, University of Arizona, OLC Innovate 2020 Virtual Escape Room Designer

Coming Soon