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Using Digital Technologies: Escape Room Games

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Using Digital Technologies: Escape Room Games

  1. 1. @grahamstanley 24th October 2020 www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley
  2. 2. What is an escape room game? Why use escape room games in ELT? • live listening • interactive story • role-playing game How can teachers best approach the design of an escape room game?
  3. 3. Trapped! An escape room game for beginners
  4. 4. Trapped!
  5. 5. Trapped! An escape room game for beginners
  6. 6. Escape the family dinner party A live listening / interactive story / escape room / role-playing game for upper-intermediate + learners
  7. 7. Escape the family dinner party
  8. 8. Escape the family dinner party Small talk What language do we use for socialising? Apologising and making excuses What things do we say to apologise / to make excuses?
  9. 9. Escape the family dinner party Small talk The weather’s lovely/horrible today, isn’t it? How is school / work? Did you see the news today? What’s new? How was your week / weekend? Did you have a good day? Apologising and making excuses I’m very sorry, but… Unfortunately, I have to… Sorry for the inconvenience, but… I’m afraid I have to… I’m sorry to trouble you, but… I hate to say this, but… I’ve got a bit of a problem, you see… Apologies, but…
  10. 10. Escape the family dinner party
  11. 11. Escape the family dinner party What was it we have to remember to do?
  12. 12. Escape the family dinner party 19:00 19:30 19:45
  13. 13. Escape the family dinner party 20:00
  14. 14. Escape the family dinner party 20:15
  15. 15. Escape the family dinner party 20:30
  16. 16. Escape the family dinner party 20:45
  17. 17. Escape the family dinner party 21:00 21:30! 21:15
  18. 18. Designing your own escape room game 1) Learning objectives / language 2) Story / setting 3) Puzzle design 4) Check: is it a disguised test? 5) Check: is it just fun? 6) Play Test
  19. 19. Designing your own escape room game 1) Learning objectives / language
  20. 20. Designing your own escape room game 2) Story / setting
  21. 21. Designing your own escape room game 3) Puzzle design
  22. 22. Designing your own escape room game 4) Check: is it a disguised test?
  23. 23. Designing your own escape room game 5) Check: is it just fun?
  24. 24. Designing your own escape room game 6) Play Test
  25. 25. Thank you! Any questions? www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley

Notas do Editor

  • BT Teachers' Month - Affective and Effective Practices for Remote Teaching
    Despite the challenges that remote learning has brought, some educators are thriving in the new context. What can we learn from them? How can we build positive relationships and maintain connections between students and teachers in this new, online world? And now that we rely heavily on digital technologies, how can we use these tools to enhance learning? This event explores both affective and effective teaching practices in the new context. We will listen to testimonials from young learners and teens about what motivates them to learn, hear from teachers who have successfully reinvented their practice and learn from experts about ways in which digital technologies can be used as a tool for motivating and empowering both teachers and students.

    Plenary - Graham Stanley
    Using Digital Technologies to Empower Teaching and Learning

    Graham Stanley is the British Council's English for Education Systems (EES) Lead in the Americas. He has a M.Ed. in ELT and Educational Technology (Manchester) and his books include ´Remote Teaching´ (British Council, 2019) and 'Language Learning with Technology' (CUP.2013). He is newsletter Editor for the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG and lives in Mexico City with his wife and two cats.
     
  • The use of digital technologies for learning and teaching languages is such a wide area now. It’s also changed considerably since I wrote the handbook for teachers LLT in 2013.

    When I was asked to speak about this theme, I spent some time wondering whether I should talk about the use of digital technologies in a general way or something more specific. In the end I have decided to focus on one particular, specific use of digital technologies that I think will be of practical value to teachers who have to teach remotely.

    There are four main areas I am particularly interested in at the moment. RT&OL is clearly flavour of the month and before the pandemic started, I edited a book of case studies and research on RT that can be downloaded for free from the British Council’s Teaching English website. The focus here is on remote teaching when ss are in the same room together, but there is still a lot there which is relevant to RTs teaching ss who are stuck at home.

    Using games in LL & LT is another area I am very interested in. I think it’s an area that is still under-developed. I co-wrote a book in 2011 about this subject, but unfortunately a lot of the games we recommended have disappeared or changed. The activities are still valid, but the links need updating.

    The other types of games I think are particularly interesting are interactive storytelling games and Escape room games. These are very flexible tools that I think are useful for teachers to have at their disposal, and so I’ve decided to focus today’s talk on one of these – escape room games, which I think are excellent as a way of motivating and empowering students. They canalso very easily adapted to different ages and levels.
  • What is an escape room game? An escape room is an adventure game set within a confined space in which players solve puzzles to unlock the door. Online escape room games lend themselves particularly to language teaching and include elements of interactive storytelling and role-playing games. During this workshop, we will look at designing an online live listening escape room game for language learning. First you will be invited to play an escape room game and then I will present ideas of how different elements such as puzzles, props, and codes can be combined to produce a stimulating game and which can be adapted to maximize the practice of English.

    Why use escape room games in ELT?
    Escape room games are effective ways of motivating learners to practise listening and speaking skills. For me, a well-designed ERG involves combining a live listening activity with an interactive story and a role-playing game.

    How can teachers best approach the design of an escape room game? I am going to start by showing you a couple of example escape room games I have designed and then I’ll present a framework for teachers who want to design their own escape room games. Because of the school closures, I have chosen ERGs that can be played in the physical classroom space as well as online. In fact, if any of you have to cope with hybrid teaching (i.e. with some ss online and others in the f2f classroom) these games can be played in that way too.
  • Trapped! is a simple escape room game designed for beginners. Clearly there’s not much of a story to this game and it is meant to be a fun way for students to practise directions. It requires the use of a map such as you can see on the screen – the squares represent romos and there are one way doors into the rooms. The template at the bottom without the doors on them is also used so students can make their own escape rooms
  • Trapped! Is a simple escape room game designed for beginners. Clearly there’s not much of a story to this game and it is meant to be a fun way for students to practise directions
  • After the demo game, you ask the ss to design their own ER and the students then play the game in pairs, with one student using the map on the right and the other a blank map. The students can, if you think it useful, write the instructions to their own game down first.

    This is an example ERG that is very simple and can be used with low level ss.
  • I am now going to present a live listening / interactive story / role-playing game designed to encourage speaking among EFL students.

    It can be played in a classroom or online and requires no other materials other than this powerpoint, a teacher and students.

    To play, you describe the scenario and start asking questions to students, who then supply answers and move the story forward to a resolution.

    The scenario can be played with different levels of students (you can grade the language to suit) and is meant for them to practise their general speaking skills, although the language of excuses and socialising will be mainly used. Because of this, it is an ideal game for B1-B2 level students.

    The game should take around 20-30 minutes to play. If you want to make this more like a RPG, you can use dice to determine the reactions to what the players say, although this is optional. Usually what I would do is to ask for volunteers to play this game and then discuss it with everyone afterwards. As we have only 20 minutes, I am going to outline the game and then talk about how I designed it. If anyone wats to ask questions, then I’ll be going to the other Zoom room at the end of my presentation.

    Images created using https://www.doodly.com/
  • Scenario: Every year, your Uncle Baco and Aunt Camila hold a dinner party to celebrate your cousin David’s birthday. All of David’s cousins are invited, along with Grandpa Philip and Grandma Mary. You don’t particularly like your cousin David, but you have promised your parents you will go and you have accepted the invitation.

    On the day of the dinner party, a surprise announcement is made about a very special event that is happening in the town hall at 10pm that night (What is it? Ask the students to tell you). There is limited space at the town hall and so you will all need to leave the dinner party by 9pm in order to get there in time.

    Unfortunately, past experience tells you that these dinner parties usually go on late, and don’t finish until 11pm. (Why? Because the food is usually served later than expected and David and his family love to play board games after dinner)

    This time, though, you are all determined to escape the dinner party by 9pm, but without upsetting anyone. The invitation asked you to be at the house at 7pm, but you know they don’t expect you to be punctual. However, you have an idea (What? f you arrive early and offer to help with the food, perhaps you can leave on time.)
  • In particular students will be socialising / practising small talk / making polite conversation; apologising; making excuses and promises. If you feel it necessary, you can pre-teach this language or deal with it as you go along / afterwards.

    Use this slide if you want to brainstorm with students before the game begins.
  • In particular students will be socialising / practising small talk / making polite conversation; apologising; making excuses and promises. If you feel it necessary, you can pre-teach this language or deal with it as you go along / afterwards.

    Use this slide if you want to share this language with students before the game begins.

    While the students are speaking, take note of the language they use and deal with errors once the game has finished. Afterwards, you should also look at the language of excuses.

    If you want to add more of a game element to this, then you can award points to students who use these phrases correctly.
  • Before you set off for the dinner party, your mother reminds you some of the things you need to do when you are there…

    “So, remember to each buy cousin David a birthday present before you go. He’s just started studying law at university, so something related to that, a book or something for him to wear when he’s doing work experience would be useful. Or you could always get him another board game…you know how much he likes those…
    …Don’t ignore Aunt Camila like she said you did the last time. I know she’s usually in the kitchen most of the time during the dinner party, but please make sure you send her my love and tell her I’ll call her tomorrow to ask how the party went…
    …Don’t forget to laugh at uncle Baco’s jokes, no matter how bad they are. You know he gets upset when nobody laughs at his jokes.
    …As usual, please don’t let Grandpa Philip tell any of those stories about when he was in the war. We all know he wasn’t in any war and he embarrases everyone when he tells those stories he makes up.
    …Finally, remember to be patient with Grandma Mary as she is losing her hearing. If she doesn’t understand what you say, then please take the time to tell her again.

    Just before you leave, your mother reminds you of the most important thing… Remember to be kind to everyone and make sure nobody gets upset with you. I am still embarrassed by what happened last year (What happened last year?)
  • Do you remember what you have to do before and at the dinner party?

    Ask the students to tell you what they have to remember to do…

    1. Buy cousin David a birthday present each. What do you buy him?
    2. Don’t ignore Aunt Camila and tell her your mother Will call her tomorrow to ask her about the party
    3. Laugh at uncle Baco’s jokes
    4. Don’t let Grandpa Philip tell any of his invented war stories
    5. Finally, remember to be patient with Grandma Mary as she is losing her hearing
  • 19:00: After buying presents for cousin David, you arrive early to the dinner party and Aunt Camila opens the door… “Hello! I didn’t expect you to be so early. I’m still cooking, so please take a seat in the living room. There’s nobody else there, but make yourself at home, turn on the TV…” WHAT THE SS SHOULD DO: Help Aunt Camila in the kitchen to prepare the food….

    19: 30: Because you helped Aunt Camila, the food is now ready and Aunt Camila asks you to take it out to the table while she calls for the others.

    Uncle Baco is the first to arrive in the dining room… “Hello again and welcome! Wow! How you have all grown since I last saw you! Please sit down. I want to catch up with you all. My wife can bring the rest of the food to the table…

    Let me tell you a joke. Can I? I have a really good one I think you all being language tachers will appreciate…ready? How many eggs does it take to make an omelette? Ermmmm…no, that’s not right….what was it again? Et me see if I can remember….something about a French omelette….erm yes, that was it…Do you need two eggs to make a French omelette? Well? No, one egg is enough! Ha! Ha! Get it? It’s the French for egg…that’s the punchline, see…pretty good, eh? Do you know any jokes?

    19:45: Uncle Baco goes to find his son while Grandma Mary and Grandpa Philip arrive at the table. What do you say to them?

    Grandma Mary: I’m sorry, dears, I didn’t quite hear what you said?

    Grandpa Philip: Did I ever tell you about the time I… was stuck in the trenches in Normandy? / jumped out of a plane in Vietnam? / fought against the Taliban in Afghanistan?


  • 20:00 Cousin David arrives at the table…

    The ss should make small talk / wish him a happy birthday / give him presents.

    He has recently dropped out of his law course at university, so he will be upset when he receives some of the presents and will go to his room… he can be persuaded to return to the table

    When he comes back down, the food is served



  • 20:15: The food is served and small talk at the table…

    Grandma Mary cannot hear
    Grandpa Philip Will try to talk about a war story
    Unclu Baco will try to tell a joke… about a bear, a cave and French cheese (Camenbert)
    Cousin David will be quiet
    Aunt Camila will be in the kitchen, not at the table…




  • 20:30 Now, dessert….birthday cake….

    “You can’t leave until you’ve tried David’s birthday cake…and then we’ll all play Scrabble…or Monoploy…”





  • 20:45 The idea of playing board games is suggested… the ss will have to come up with excuses if they are to escape the party…

    If they stay to play the board games, it depends on which one they play, but Scrabble or Monopoly will take them past 21:00





  • 20:45 The idea of playing board games is suggested… the ss will have to come up with excuses if they are to escape the party…

    If they stay to play the board games, it depends on which one they play, but Scrabble or Monopoly will take them past 21:00





  • DESIGNING YOUR OWN

    In the next part of the presentation I am going to look at a framework that I have developed to help teachers design their own ERGs

    The framewiork consists of designing 3 elements (1-3) and then 2 checks and playtesting before unleashing your game on students
  • DESIGNING YOUR OWN

    First of all, I think it is very important to start with the language or learning objectives. Put that at the forefront. Why are you using an ER? Is that going to be more effective tan trying to get ss to practise in a different way? It could be that your students are a Little tired of the coursebook you are using and you need to do something that is a Little bit different, to motivate them. For me, it’s all about creating a memorable learning experience. If you do something in your lesson that is interesting, exciting or otherwise stimulates the students, then they are more likely to learn.

    So, language and learning objectives first. Don’t try to bolt this on at the end. That will be like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and Will likely to not result in a satisfying experience for students or teacher.

    The image shows a text from an escape room game I designed that features the theft of a valuable object and a number of suspects. I wanted to design an ER around the language of hypothesis and for ss to be involved in putting forward their theories of who committed the crime and why was the way I decided I could do that. It wasn’t clear cut, so there was room for discusión.
  • DESIGNING YOUR OWN

    For me, the next important aspecto of and ELT Escape room game is the story. Clearly, there wasn’t much story in the first ERG I share with you today. That’s because the simpler the language the more difficult introducing a story is. However, in general terms, I think if you make a strong story the

    In the example ERG The Missing Mayan Mask, the story was that a valuable artefact goes missing at a dinner party organised by an ambassador and a mystery organisation hires the students to find the mask, which is hidden at the ambassador’s residence, before the pólice turn up. As I mentioned on the previous slide, it’s not clear after the ss find the mask, who stole it, which should lead to discusión and debate and theories. The mystery continues and ss are encouraged to do follow-up activities that expand their versión of the story.
  • Puzzle design.
    Next come the puzles. There may be hidden cleus in texts, combination locks to unlock, etc especially if you are using objects and playing in the classroom as I did with this Mayan Mask ERG. Even if it is more virtual, there Will be puzles to solve, cyphers, etc. What you need to make sure is that these are either language puzles, or that they require language (e.g. talking to each other) to solve. The last thing you want to do is for ss to spend 10 minutes faffing about with something in silence – the difficulty of these puzles doesn’t have to be very hard either – remember, the objective is language practice not solving puzles proactice. So, anice balance behind having something that Will raise the interest and curiosity of the ss and get them practising language is preferible.

    The image shows the final puzle of the Mayan Mask game…the mask, locked in a bag with a combination to be entered, the bag hidden in a clock. A cypher leads ss to the clock and the code on one of the suspect files is the combination to the lock. There are no red herrings (it’s hard enough without them) and the whole game should take 20 minutes to complete. That leaves time for debrieging and follow up activities using English afterwards.
  • It might be tempting to trun exercise book activities into an ERG. The ss complete an exercise and that gives them a number to a lock. Inside is another exercise that when completed means the Teacher gives out clues. For me, that is a killjoy though. It’s not an anjoyable game, it’s a disguised test. It’s unlikely that your ss Will respond well to this type of “game” so I would avoid it.

    The picture shows the pólice file for the Mystery of the Myan Mask ERG – this Reading gives context to the game and provides Information about possible suspects.
  • The other side of the coin. Be careful that you don’t just design an activity that is a lot of fun for learners to do but which has Little or no language or learning in it. It’s a careful balance. You want the ss to have fun while they learn or practicve English.

    In the pictures, a puzzle – a simple jigsaw that when put together and then turned over reveals the combination of the first lock and the next clue in the game.
  • Testing the game out before you unleash it on learners is a good idea. If you can run through it with a colleague or family or Friends, so much the better. The image shows a flow chart for my Mayan Mask ERG – designing this Flow chart was useful as this is a game played in the physical classroom and required some objects that were hidden under desks, chairs, etc to be found before others. Designing the Flow chart made me think carefully about the placement of these and also about the time taken to solve some of the puzles. Playing it with teachers meant I could see if it worked and was able to change it to improve it.
  • Thank you! Any questions?

    You can download this presentation, which includes notes to help you play the games I presented at the Slideshare address here.

    Early next year, I’ll be publishing a book for teachers on ERGs – keep track of the progress by following me on Twitter or through the blog (URL on the right), which has links to other ideas and escape room games.

    Designing escape room games for ELT
    Escape room games are effective ways of motivating learners to practise listening and speaking skills. Teachers can turn their classroom into an escape room, or design activities to be used online. In this talk I will share a framework that teachers can use to develop their own escape room games.

    Bio: Graham Stanley is the British Council’s English for Educational Systems Lead for the Americas, based in Mexico City. He has and M.Ed in Educational Technology and ELT and is newsletter editor for the IATEFL LTSIG.

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