Digital Escape Rooms - How to Create & Use Them to Increase Engagement in your Classroom
When I first heard about teachers using escape rooms in the classroom I was SO intrigued. I knew it would be something kids would immediately buy into, and the more realistic it was, the more interested they would be.
Last year, I decided to take my go at creating my own escape room and because I seem to always take the long route... I also decided that it should be a digital escape room.
I have always been pretty quick to understand tech and new programs so I figured it wouldn't be THAT hard. Honestly, it wasn't. This concept seems WAY more time consuming than it really is. Don't get me wrong, you can take these to the next level and make them complicated & fancy, but if you want to put in a little time, and get a lot of result, I'll show you just how you can do that.
To access my digital escape room to see what it looks like and get some inspiration - click on my Freebies page!
PLATFORMS FOR A DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM
1) Google Sites
2) Google Forms
3) Box with a lock!
That's it :)
HOW TO CREATE A SIMPLE, BUT EFFECTIVE DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM STEP-BY-STEP
1. Go to Google Sites and click "Create New Site" - choose the new platform as it's easier to use!
2. Choose a layout, and start editing. This platform makes it really easy to create a simple webpage. Change the title to "Grade _ Escape Room" and you can change the background picture as well.
3. Once your website homepage is created, you will need to add a site page - this is where your first clue and task will be. Click the "Pages" button on the right-hand side, and then click the + sign.
4. You can go back to the "Insert" tab once you've named your page, and change the layout/design.
5. When you are happy with it (I kept mine VERY simple) you will need to put the site aside and create the Escape Room Plan.
In my escape room, I had the students do the following:
Clue 1 was provided to them when they helped the Zombie with his math test (answered 4 adding questions)
Clue 2 was provided to them when they answered 3 patterning questions correctly
Clue 3 was provided to them when they answered a multi-step word problem.
Each clue had a different page on the website. In some instances, I tricked them and created fake landing pages. They'd have to peruse the site further to find the actual page for that clue. When they got to the real clues, they would have to figure out the answers to the math questions on a Google Form. If they got the math questions correct, google forms would go to a landing page where I had typed out the first # that unlocked the locked box! Thus, when they got all three math problems/clues, they would be able to unlock the box.
You could make this longer and provide riddles at the end of the skill-testing questions, but I wanted this to be done within one hour so I kept it simple but amused them with the "fake" landing pages, gifs, and so on.
Once you know how many clues you want to give, and what your questions will look like you can start to create the google forms.
6. Google and open "Google Forms".
7. Click on the template that says "Assessment"
8. Type in the questions you'd like the students to answer, and make sure you click required on each. Since Google Forms does NOT give you an option to only submit when all of the answers are correct, I had my students show me what the answers were on PAPER first to get the go-ahead to type them into Forms. You can make this clear in your instructions as well.
9. To type in the clue once the students have completed the test, click on the GEAR symbol at the top of the page and select the presentation tab. Edit the part that says "Confirmation Message" to say whatever the students need to get closer to "escaping".
10. Repeat this for all of the clues.
11. Import the Google Forms into the different pages of your website. You can do this by having the forms right on the page itself, as seen in my example on the "Zombies Rule" page, or by typing "Click Here" or anything, and hyperlinking it to the Google Form. If you do that, simply type the word you want, highlight it, right-click, and select "Hyperlink". There you will add the link to your Google Form.
Take a look at my Escape Room Website for reference and ideas - located on my Freebies page!