Rachael Zeleny, Assistant Professor, University of BaltimoreHIGHER EDUCATION
This presentation explores course for graduating students. Using the template I will provide, students create virtual escape rooms that pair with workplace novels such as Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, Margaret Edson's Wit, Zakiya Dalila Harris' The Other Black Girl. The novels chosen are workplace novels that include difficult conversations, microaggressions, and bullying. The escape rooms encourage users to understand how language was used in appropriately, to apply theoretical lenses as a way of understanding why someone might behave in that way, and ultimately, uses research to suggest alternative ways of "escaping" these types of conversations and becoming an ally in the workplace. By asking students to not only participate in escape rooms that feature close reading puzzles but also by asking them to design the tools, this panel will argue that assignments such as these increase engagement and promote close reading while also encouraging empathy. Attendees will have the opportunity to try the puzzles included from the student models and to talk to each other about ways to implement similar strategies in their organization/classroom.
All attendees will receive my template for creating the Close-Reading Escape rooms as well as several student models. Furthermore, I will offer the opportunity for them to sign up to be partnered with one of my students and to have my students create a virtual escape room for educational use in their classroom. These collaborations become part of the syllabus moving forward.