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Saturday, February 29 • 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Innovation in Outreach: Virtual Tools and Escape Rooms as Gateways to Campus Resources

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Chair: Andrew White
Dan Bennett, Cat Hannula, Mario Valdebenito Rodas, "Using Virtual Tools to Create Equitable Pathways into Physical Spaces"
Smith College’s central library is currently undergoing significant renovations. An essential portion of our first year libraries orientation program is a mandatory Libraries Scavenger Hunt dedicated to educating students on where they can still access library resources. Some of Smith College’s branch libraries are difficult to navigate which could limit some students’ ability to physically access these spaces. In order to provide an equitable solution, members of IT and the Libraries utilized 360º photography, H5P and WordPress to create 360º virtual tours as an inclusive alternative to help students complete the Scavenger Hunt.
Our presentation will discuss the conception, planning and implementation of this project, including organizational collaboration, stakeholder management, and the specific technologies used. We will also discuss how the results of this project are being implemented for public facing digital humanities projects in classes. This project is also being scaled in a way to provide the Smith community the ability to easily create more accessible pathways as our campus changes with the opening of our new library.

Madeline Miller, Victoria Corwin, Ellie Ng, Alexander Cotnoir, "
Dartmouth Undying; using a library escape room to introduce open access concepts via zombie apocalypse"
How can gaming be used to interactively explore complex or unfamiliar materials and concepts? To engage college students and staff with Open Access concepts, primary sources, and research tools, our team of post-baccalaureate fellows built an escape room with materials from the media center, engineering school’s machine shop, institutional archives, and even discarded library book bins. In contrast to conventional methods of outreach and teaching, our escape room attracts and appeals to hard-to-reach audiences by centering around social entertainment, gaming, and storytelling. As evidence of this, so far we’ve reached a wide variety of audiences, including students, staff, our campus museum, and a digital humanities course on Storytelling in the Digital Age.

Our presentation will cover the process we employed to create our escape room, including the challenges and opportunities we encountered collaborating with Dartmouth’s engineering school, special collections library, and media center. We will discuss escape rooms as a method for engagement and learning, and end with exploring the outcomes of our project.


Dan Bennett

Smith College

Cat Hannula

Smith College

Victoria Corwin

Dartmouth College

Ellie Ng

Dartmouth College

Alexander Cotnoir

Dartmouth College

Madeline Miller

Dartmouth College

Saturday February 29, 2020 4:00pm - 5:15pm EST
Phelan Lab

Attendees (5)