Nicola is in charge of this project which aims to enhance teamwork, communication and puzzle-solving skills. The aim of this project is to design, develop, and test a series of escape rooms that can be used as part of a of outreach to enthuse potential students about different subject areas.
The first meeting was arranged for the 11th of January in room 3.68 and lasted for 1 and a half hours, 2.30-4pm. This meeting allowed the 7 of us to decide who we want in our teams. I, Nafisa, Shamima, and Elisabeth are in one team. Because this was the first meeting and we were introduced to the project, Nicola and Mark allowed us 30 minutes to have a go at the prototype that she and Mark had put together just in case any of us weren’t aware of what an escape room was. The 7 of us had to work together to solve the hidden puzzles in the room to unlock the rucksack, and reveal whats hidden inside. Everyone relished the activity and it has given us an idea of what plan we need to come up with for our own prototypes.
The following meeting on the 21st of January (Saturday Conference) from 10-3pm our teams had met up to begin planning for our escape the classroom. For our theme we chose the BFG so each hidden puzzle will be in a jar like the dreams were in the film. we had only come up with a few puzzles such as a crossword which will reveal a color and according to that color another puzzle will be found in the jar, riddles etc. We were also told that we have a budget of £50.00 to buy items online to decorate our rooms with so we sat down together so see what items would be appropriate for our theme. Some of the things we ordered were fairy lights, jars, balloons, padlocks and keys etc.
On the 2nd of February, I, Nafisa, and Shamima had a meeting with Nicola and Mark to show what we had come up with so far, and we were given positive feedback on how well our escape room can work with first year university students as well as young children around 7 years of age. the meeting was beneficial as we were given opinions on how we can improve our plans and make them suitable for the players; it gave us a clear, structured view on what a successful plan should look like.
Friday the 2nd of March was the day my team tested our prototype with 2 foundation year students, Zahra and Jess, to see how smoothly our plan would flow. Doing this had given us assurance that we are on the right track; verbal feedback from the students enabled us to make it better for when we deliver the prototype on the day. The session lasted around 35 minutes because we had not fully completed our plan. Therefore, we are currently working on getting it together and polishing it up so everything goes to plan.
The second time me and my team tested our prototype was on the 4th of April from 12pm-1pm in the Brooks building. This time there were more supporters who helped us to identify where we could improve our project and what the good aspects were. There were 5 people. We had given them a debrief about the project and told them that their mission was to save Sophie because one of the bad giants had locked her up. They would do this by solving hidden puzzles we had created which were hidden all over the room. All we told them where the starting point was and they were left alone from there; they had to work together to get the job done.
Testing this prototype another time was useful because it allowed us to further improve our work to make it work best for all age groups. At first the team had struggled on the crossword as some clues were missing on the sheet, hence I made sure that I got the crossword right by editing it. Also, there was one riddle which they were finding difficult to solve due to the wording, so Shamima made sure that she wrote it in a different way so that even children can understand.
So far I enjoyed all sessions as they have really given me an insight of what the project aims to do; that is that learning does not just happen in the classroom but outside of school too and everyday life. Also, testing our project more than once has helped to get our work up to a high quality standard which we are all happy with. another reason I enjoy this project the most is because we have been given so much free time to get our planning done and make everything run smoothly. We had from 10am-3pm in the Saturday conference (25th March) to get things completed, so me, Elisabeth, Shamima and Nafisa sat down together and came up with more ideas and actually did a trial.