Winter 2022 class– Misinformation Escape Room Directed Research Group

Winter 2022
Tuesdays 2:30-3:20 (online)
2 credits; CR/NC

The Misinformation escape room Directed Research Group (DRG) is designed as a hands-on class for students to participate directly in an iSchool research project. This project started in 2020 and the priorities for the 2021-2022 academic year are to:

  • Conduct a large-scale evaluation of our first escape room, the Euphorigen Investigation
  • Develop a co-design curriculum to design new escape rooms
  • Build a digital misinformation escape room platform to adapt puzzles and create new escape rooms
  • Run two co-design camps — ARMY Fandom (BTS) and BIPOC/BLM — for librarians and members of these communities to design their own misinformation escape rooms
  • Develop a website and resources to host the escape rooms for broad distribution

Information about the project can be found on the project page and

The Winter 2022 DRG will focus on:

  1. Co-design curriculum development: This is envisioned as a set of discrete activities for co-design teams (approx 6-8 people) to follow over about 10 hours that leads them through all of the steps necessary to develop a new misinformation escape room. Activities will include: (a) playing Euphorigen and discussing its learning goals; researching how misinformation has spread in the context of an overall theme (e.g. ARMY Fandom); (c) developing a compelling narrative/story; (d) developing puzzle content, and other tasks. Students in the class will be user testers, documenting their experiences with each of these activities to understand what works, what is missing, challenges, and other experiences with the curriculum. The goal is to create and test the curriculum before using it for our two co-design camps. 
  2. Platform development: The game was coded in React, and we are currently in the process of modularizing it in a framework that will allow people to create their own escape rooms. This includes editing text, uploading multimedia objects, sequencing puzzles, and other actions. This work will continue in winter and will be part of a team with a student who has been brought onboard to lead this development. The other activity is developing a system and database for requesting and managing user accounts, generating individual game IDs, and collecting game session data (e.g. completion times, error rates) that is tied to the user accounts.
  3. Euphorigen evaluation: Partway through the quarter 10 libraries will begin running Euphorigen. Students may support this effort by observing and taking notes of game sessions, managing survey data, and/or helping with other research tasks

Space for this class is limited. Returning students are given priority and should register early in the registration process. New students should complete this questionnaire and we will admit students on a rolling basis. While research experience is a plus, we are primarily looking for passionate students who are eager to contribute to an active research project. If you have questions, please email Chris Coward