When a performance-based review is not a realistic option, a fun way to conduct a non-performance review is in the form of an escape room. An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players (often in teams) solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Within a training environment, the classroom is used as the escape room and the course content is used to create the puzzles and riddles.
We challenged ourselves to create an escape room when we designed our The Modern Classroom workshop. Are you looking to create your very own dynamic classroom-based escape room? We’ve shared some of our lessons-learned so you can benefit from our experience.
Organize the room
Conventional escape rooms have participants walking around the room to find various clues, but we felt this could be a bit chaotic as the teams might end up in the same area at the same time. Instead, we opted to confine each group of learners to a given space (i.e. their own table groups) to make the activity more manageable.
Plan out the clues
A fun way to get learners involved is to hide material around their table area by sticking clues under the table, inside a pencil box, etc., however, we felt this would be hard to implement in the workshop as learners come and go throughout the day. Instead, we chose to give each table group an “escape pack”—a package that held a total of five activities learners would need to complete to successfully escape.
Think of the contents of the escape package as a series of handouts which might include crossword puzzles, word searches, infographics with hidden messages, messages concealed inside a picture, or whatever you can dream up! Within each handout, circle a specific letter or number. Each letter or number will be part of the final answer that will open the room at the end of the activity allowing learners to “escape.” A word of caution! Don’t make the challenges too difficult. It’s a good idea to have one or two simple tasks as they’ll help build learner confidence and boost the learner’s eagerness to escape.
A typical escape room has multiple locks and combinations, but this isn’t necessary when the focus of the escape room is to review content. Instead, keep clues and hints focused on the content and lead the learners to one final lock for the escape. This lock could be a paper lock on the door, a combination lock on a box, or even a virtual lock (using Google Docs, for example). We opted for a virtual lock in our workshop.
Contrary to what you might believe, creating an escape room doesn’t need to be long or costly. With a little imagination and context for your learners, your classroom can become a deserted island that’s about to be overrun by zombies! Just be sure to use these guidelines to surprise your learners and create your own dynamic classroom-based escape room challenge.
Want to learn more about exciting tools, tips, and technology you can use in your classroom-based training and take part in our escape room challenge? Check out The Modern Classroom!