Creating Escape Room Activities For Traditional And Online Learning
Concurrent Session 3
In this session, we will explore several types of escape room activities for active learning, review a framework for designing an instructional escape room, design an in-class escape room activity, and discuss ways to incorporate them into a Learning Management System to supplement instruction and assess learning.
Escape rooms have become a popular choice for group socials and team-building activities. They can be implemented in a variety of ways, providing mental and sometimes physical challenges presented to participants which must be overcome in order to meet a particular goal in a prescribed amount of time. They are traditionally thought of as a game where a small group is locked in a room and must use resources in the environment to determine how to get out. However, escape rooms can come in many forms with many challenges, including those involving scavenger hunts requiring teams to find or unlock certain items, or challenges where the team is somehow physically linked (such as in a human chain) and must determine how to individually release the members given certain constraints. In general, escape rooms are timed, and not all teams overcome the challenges before their time is up.
Instructors are now adapting escape room frameworks as an active learning learning strategy to engage students. Although the hands-on and team-based characteristics of such activities are clearly evident, it is less evident how a well-planned escape room experience can provide opportunities for learners to reinforce knowledge concepts, practice using tools and techniques, and exercise sound decision-making given a scenario. Further, the activities can help learners make connections across content areas while generally improving their critical thinking and analytic skills through the problem-solving requirements. Given a variety of tools and techniques that can be used for different types of content, followed by a framework to plan a well-organized and intentional escape room, instructors can also take advantage of these activities to assess student competencies, especially when implemented online. An effective design strategy, online implementation, and useful analytics can be combined to maximize instructional impact and significantly reinforce learning.
In this session, we will:
Identify and experience several types of escape room activities that can be used as an active learning strategy through short, hands-on group activities.
Review a framework that can be used when designing an instructional escape room.
Work in small groups to design an in-class escape room activity to reinforce course content mastery.
Discuss ways to incorporate escape room activities into a Learning Management System to supplement instruction and serve as online assessment tools.