Utilising a virtual ‘Treasure Hunt’ for new students

By Jenny Boldrin (Senior Lecturer, Early Childhood Studies)

The move to a blended model of learning over the last year has required us, as Module Leaders, to think differently about the ways in which students can be introduced to new content. Whist considering how new ways of teaching could be utilised during traditional seminar sessions, I began to reflect on how technology could be beneficial in other, wider-reaching ways. I am Module Leader for a Stage 1 module which, in part, introduces students to a range of aspects of the Early Childhood Studies programme, from IT processes to the library and the various functions of Course Resources. Having originally seen the idea of a virtual escape room in some guidance produced by TEL, I began to explore ways I could use a similar premise to guide students around the various platforms and components they would be required to use regularly as part of their degree. For me, this represented a way of embracing technology-enhanced learning whilst also ensuring key information was delivered in an interactive and user-friendly way.

Having spoken to Charlotte Ellis, Media Adviser from the TEL team, it was decided that a Treasure Hunt was the most feasible solution and I was put in touch with one of the Digital Media Producers (DMPs) Barbora Horackova, who is working with the TEL team. Barbora and I worked collaboratively over the following weeks, building various steps of the Treasure Hunt which involved students performing tasks such as:

  • Contacting their Personal Academic Tutor
  • Locating their first week’s reading in the library
  • Posting on a Padlet and into their Personal Journal
  • Completing a quiz about the team
  • Finding information in the Programme Handbook

Engagement in the Treasure Hunt was fantastic, with 54 out of 58 students engaging! Throughout the week they were able to take part in key aspects of academic life, supporting them to be better prepared as they continued into their studies.