E-Scape Rooms

Game-based experiences have proven to be powerful catalysts for learning. Escape rooms in particular have grown in popularity in recent years, being a prime choice for entertainment. This presents a strong opportunity to leverage these puzzles for learning experiences that are both entertaining and educational.

Using ThingLink, an award-winning digital platform, OLC STARTALK E-SCAPE integrates immersive themes with storytelling-based modules. Students navigate content packed with goal-based challenges – like solving a puzzle in time to prevent a problem. This setup encourages students to stay involved and focused on the content as they encounter interactive characters, creative settings and strategic tasks.

“The OLC strives to push creative boundaries to foster engaging learning experiences, and this gamified curriculum opens a world of opportunities to captivate students – early on – in learning critical languages,” says Jennifer Mathes, CEO of the OLC. “We are incredibly excited to launch these virtual escape rooms with accompanying teacher resources, and are appreciative of the STARTALK program for their support.”

Want to do an E-Scape room test drive? We've got you covered! Check out this sample puzzle for a mini-escape room experience.

Portal Problems

Our global network of portals allows near-instantaneous transportation between points on Earth’s surface and even beyond! But today, a large-scale malfunction in the portal system is threatening to throw the world into chaos. Your help is needed to resolve the global crisis and, hopefully, mitigate long-term consequences for the planet. To resolve an issue of this scale will require a team effort. Ultimately, you will need to take on the role of three different characters and solve the puzzles for each. You can start with any character you like. Once you’ve completed all three puzzles related to that character, you’ll be prompted to switch to another one.

Mars Mayhem

As an experienced Foreign Service Officer, you have been successfully building relationships between different countries, cultures, and individuals for years. You use your cultural and linguistic knowledge to figure out the nuances of situations, the intent behind words, the far-reaching implications of potential decisions – and you use all of these skills to inform, protect, and influence policy. Your work has been invaluable to the International Portal Authority and those higher-up in your organization have begun to take notice. You recently completed a big assignment, took a well-deserved vacation, and returned to the office to find your boss waiting for you. “I’ve got your next assignment – there are nine challenges or puzzles, and with your skillset you’re the best one for the job.” You notice her half-smile, which in the past has suggested she has something up her sleeve. “How do you feel about Mars?”

Apprentice Adventures

You have been accepted as an apprentice with the International Portal Authority! This is a paid multidisciplinary, career development program for critical language learners. (This is similar to a real-world program: NSA Language Development Program (LADP)!)! As an apprentice (officially your title is Entry-level Language Analyst), you have been assigned to the International Portal Authority (IPA) where you will meet team members from international organizations, government agencies, and beyond.

Your work will help the IPA with real challenges while also giving you opportunities to develop your linguistic knowledge, learn analytical skills, practice in geopolitical and culturally-complex situations, and gain experience with the latest technology used in the International Portal field and Intelligence Communities. These skills and experiences will be a great help to you if you decide to pursue any number of careers that leverage your critical language and thinking skills to make a difference.