How do you make a virtual orientation both informative and collaborative? Hint: campus-themed escape rooms. The Master of Engineering (MEng) program at UC Berkeley set out to design an escape room experience on ohyay that would familiarize over 160 incoming MEng students with various MEng and UC Berkeley campus resources, from student portals to key cards. “It was important for us to develop a team building activity that would empower our incoming MEng cohort to build community and get to know their peers,” said Claire Trias, Student Affairs Advisor at Berkeley.
For the escape room activity, students were paired into small groups at random to solve various problems, such as finding a computer replacement or scheduling an appointment with Student Affairs. “This gave students an opportunity to get to know fellow students in a unique, fun way, while allowing them to form new friendships and teaching them the value of teamwork and collaboration,” said Claire. The social hour session, which was followed by the escape room activity, allowed for students to share what they were most looking forward to about the semester and exchange contact information.
The students walked away with newly formed friendships and an appreciation for how customized and specific the escape rooms were to the MEng program and to UC Berkeley.
“We’ve been using the ohyay platform for over a year now for various virtual social activities, from graduation receptions to networking mixers. We knew to use the platform for our orientation because of past successful experiences with ohyay’s custom interface, unique puzzles, and interactive rooms,” said Claire.
Explore the UC Berkeley escape room experience here.