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TO USE: If you would like to contribute to this document in a collaborative way, please make a new sheet and do not edit this one. To do so, click the "+" sign at the bottom of this document. You can title your new sheet whatever you would like. The one rule is to not delete sheets that other people create. If you would prefer to do this activity on your own, simply make a copy of this template for your own use. Shoutout to Keegan Long-Wheeler for creating the original Google Sheets template that this is based off of (fun fact: he utilized it for Character Creation, but it can clearly be leveraged for many other fun, creative projects)!
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Your learning spaceSpace "boundaries"
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Use this space to define what learning space you are working in. Is this a course? Professional development? A webinar? Etc. What is the overall format, how many students, subject content, etc?I use the word "boundaries" intentionally here rather than simply "limitations" to instead get you thinking about the space itself. Are you in a physical room that has certain dimensions or furniture that cannot move? What digital spaces do you have access to (i.e. what technologies can you use to 'house' the escape room')? Do you have a certain time limit you are working with? Use this area to generally reflect on the spaces you are working with and the potential boundaries they might present you with while you design.
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Learning Outcomes and GoalsStories that interest you
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I always start with the learning outcomes and goals I have in mind when I design educational escape rooms. What are you hoping people get out of the experience you are designing and why? Use this space to define those for you, so that they can be central to your design process. You'll notice that this space is larger than the others. Take the time to consider primary and secondary goals / outcomes. For one of the escape rooms I (Maddie) designed, I knew I had a major outcome of participants leaving the experience with a list of new and free educational technologies and ideas for ways they could use each of them. I wanted folks to feel supported in learning new resources and inspired to utilize them. That said, conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion are also important to my work and therefore something I wanted to intentionally incorporate into the escape room's design. So a goal that year was to center access and increase awareness around the importance of universal and accessible design, but I additionally had a sub-goal of wanting folks to leave the experience with basic familiarity with and understanding of a common tool (in this case YouTube) and a major accessibility feature (the fact that you can add captions to your videos).What types of stories do you enjoy engaging with? Are you a fan of mystery? A heroes journey? Perhaps a comedy? Either way, use this area of the template to reflect on the enducational space you are working with and your favorite types of stories. What story type might work best for the educational space you are designing for? Why? Are there story types you might want to avoid? What leads you to think that?
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Your envisioned experience
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Do you imagine this as a collaborative synchronous experience, a collaborative asynchronous one, fully solo? Consider the overall experience using the 4 P's we introduced in the Innovation Studio this year.: Purpose, People, Place, and Plot. How are you imagining folks moving between places/spaces? What is the overall purpose of the escape room and how does that impact your overall design choices (hint: it should impact ALL of them)? Who would be engaging with this escape room and how do you imagine that engagement? And what kind of plot development are you dreaming up (are they diving into the final critical 40 minutes of a top secret mission or is this a pop-in-pop-out styled escape room where there is not a sense of urgency)?
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Do you imagine this as a collaborative synchronous experience, a collaborative asynchronous one, fully solo? Consider the overall experience using the 4 P's we introduced in the Innovation Studio this year.: Purpose, People, Place, and Plot. How are you imagining folks moving between places/spaces? What is the overall purpose of the escape room and how does that impact your overall design choices (hint: it should impact ALL of them)? Who would be engaging with this escape room and how do you imagine that engagement? And what kind of plot development are you dreaming up (are they diving into the final critical 40 minutes of a top secret mission or is this a pop-in-pop-out styled escape room where there is not a sense of urgency)?
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Additional steps from here
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Once you have a good understanding of the basics (all of the above), you can start designing! Recognizing that this is a template meant top get you thinking about those basics, where are you at in your thinking? Did a fun story idea come to mind as you reflected? Are there certain puzzles you love to solve? Share them here (or any other thoughts, questions, ideas, etc) so that the larger community of folks contributing to this document can chime in (via comments) and connect with you around your ideas.
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