A month ago, I wrote about creating escape room style puzzle boxes to teach communication skills. I recently adapted this method to work with adults in a professional training context as part of my One-Day Communication Reset Workshop. I wondered, as I was building the experience for college students, whether or not it would work with non-students.
That's good, because I am going to be rolling out a bigger version of this experience at the IAEE ExpoExpo! this fall, and it's nice to know that I have a fighting chance of getting some people who might enjoy this activity at my session.
They were *super* intense about it and were in it to win it. I thought there was a chance they would disengage, especially when they got to the hard parts, like reading and taking online quizzes, but they all really wanted to get those locks open.
|Graphic created by Patricia Stelter|
Of course, it was time for revision.
I improved on the method from the last time, generating a spreadsheet to keep track of the boxes and lock levels. No more confusion!
I also created some Google Forms quizzes that gave lock code outputs for successful completion. This shorter quiz worked well, but the longer one was a problem. I set it up so they had to retake the quiz instead of individual questions, which led to a frustrating time for some during that part. I will work on that. But the online quizzes meant they didn't have to report to me to get clues.
That was good, because it changed our relationship during the activity. I was the hint-giver only, not a necessary interactant. Obviously I created the puzzles, so they might have directed frustration with them toward me, but I had primed them with the idea that I would give each group a limited number of hints. They couldn't know the number, so at a certain point they couldn't know, their hints would be exhausted. They had some discussions, when faced with difficulty, about whether or not to use me as a "phone-a-friend." It displaced some of the negativity they might have had about the process in a way that improved my interactions with them during the activity.
Here's a few of the things I saw: