Get students to escape the art history classroom (digitally!)

I recently had to be away from my class at the College Art Association Conference. I run an in-class escape-room activity for my World Art History class, so I thought I’d see if I could create one in a digital format. While it is obviously not the same as being in person, I will say that the students enjoyed it and I’ve had really positive feedback. So I thought I’d share what I did.

I made it so that each of my student teams would have 1 hour to escape the evil Dr. Tottle, who had locked them in the classroom and was planning to erase their academic record so they’d have to take all their classes again. (OK, so perhaps a little silly, but they liked it)

I sent them the link to the activities and the Google Form that I used to create the escape room.

For the activities, I used the same ones I created for the in-person one, all about Mughal art. (See the above post) Each activity (there were 5) resulted in a letter or number code.

Then, I used a Google Form where they had to input their codes/answers. If they didn’t answer correctly, they wouldn’t be able to advance. How do you do this? Just like this.

First question for the digital escape room
Validation

For me, I had the first letter code be “perfect”–when they completed the assignment, the correct order of multiple-choice letters spelled this. So in google forms, click on the 3 dots and choose response validation. Type in your answer. You can also have a message that they see if they are incorrect; for me, this was “try again.”

Pretty easy, right? Yes, very easy.

I told the students they could work in teams, and they all did. Why? I told them that the first team who had all their members finish first received a prize (in reality, each team received a prize tied to our in-class Jeopardy game).

This was a great assignment. But does it help them to learn?

Well, they just took their first exam, and I am happy to report that they did very well on questions about Mughal art!

Cite this article as: Lauren G. Kilroy-Ewbank, "Get students to escape the art history classroom (digitally!)," in Adventures in Pedagogy, Digital Art History, + More, March 10, 2020, http://lkilroyewbank.org/lke-blog/get-students-to-escape-the-art-history-classroom-digitally/.

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