Creating Instructional Escape Room Activities For Traditional And Online Learning
Concurrent Session 1 & 2 (combined)
In this session, we will conduct a short exercise to explore several types of escape room activities for active learning, use a development framework to design a short instructional escape room, and discuss ways to incorporate them into an 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 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.
In this session, we will:
- Participate in a short instructional escape room activity in small groups.
- Identify several types of escape room activities that can be used as an active learning strategy to reinforce course content mastery.
- Review a framework that can be used when designing an instructional escape room.
- Work in small groups to create a short instructional escape room.
- Discuss ways to incorporate escape room activities into a Learning Management System to supplement instruction and serve as online assessment tools.
- (5 min) Welcome/Agenda
- (20 min) Introductory Instructional Escape Room Exercise
- (5 min) Group Discussion on Techniques
- (10 min) Overview of Techniques and Use as Assessment Tools
- (40 min) Design Challenge Activity
- (10 min) Wrap-Up Discussion/Q&A