The Great Escape: De-mystifying digital escape rooms for faculty development

Concurrent Session 3

Brief Abstract

During this session, we will showcase one method of utilizing Digital Escape Rooms as part of faculty development. Our goal is to minimize the effects of technology resistance and fatigue amongst Faculty while promoting the use of Digital Escape Rooms within their courses.


Leticia Velasquez is an Instructional Designer with the Center for Teaching Excellence at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. While relatively new to instructional design, Leticia utilizes her past experiences as a teacher, a corporate trainer, and an online learner to support faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and academic-oriented units with various course development services. Leticia's focus is to ensure that every learning experience meets SIU's quality standards while incorporating UDL and DEI principles.
Leslie Short Doctoral Candidate, SIUC School of Education MSEd., Learning Systems, Design and Technology MPA, Public Administration

Extended Abstract

Online learning has been around for decades however, it has flourished over the last few years.  This increase has led to the creation of numerous educational tools and technologies. As a result, Higher Education faculty are constantly called upon to keep up with and incorporate the latest and greatest educational tools and technology into online or blended courses. Instructional Designers are also being challenged to support faculty who are being required to learn new skills to provide transformative learning spaces to sustain student engagement. However, this ever-changing learning environment has taken a toll on faculty participation and buy-in. 

To make matters worse, Faculty development activities have become a never-ending series of instructional PowerPoint presentations and how-to videos, frequently leading to technology resistance and fatigue among university faculty. As Instructional Designers, we’ve asked ourselves “what strategies can we implement to minimize the effects of technology resistance and fatigue while still providing the support faculty needs to implement technology effectively in their classrooms”.

One such strategy is the use of  “Digital” Escape Rooms to provide an immersive learning experience that cognitively stimulates and challenges faculty. The introduction of game elements can make learning fun, increase engagement, and provide a sense of accomplishment among participants. In addition, having faculty participate in a Digital Escape Room will hopefully encourage the use of Digital Escape Rooms as learning activities within their courses to promote discovery, as well as participatory and experiential learning.

Level of Participation:

During the discovery session, we will present our Digital Escape Room. We will briefly discuss our design process, and implementation as well as the challenges that we faced. After our presentation, all participants are encouraged to ask questions about our presentation or provide any feedback. Participants will get the opportunity to experience the Escape Room at their leisure through the use of a QR Code. 

 Session Goals:

Our goal is to showcase one strategy to increase Faculty buy-in by exploring and de-mystifying the use of Digital Escape Rooms as part of faculty professional development. We hope to inspire attendees in the creation of their own Digital Escape Room.