From study trip to escape room: a digital education program.
In 2019, the Blinken OSA (CEU) received a grant for its project titled 89: Bringing it Home from the U.S. Embassy in Hungary, supporting the design and organization of two-day study trips for five groups of 15–19 year-old students to the Archives. The program aimed to create a unique learning experience focusing on the regime change in Hungary. On the first day, students would participate in a simulation game that recreated the dynamics of the Kádár regime, using primary sources; they would then have a walking tour that familiarized them with some of the most important events of 1988 and 1989. On the second day, students would form a “Creative Block” to express—through a diversity of workshops—their views on what they considered the most important takeaways of the trip.
Due to the outbreak of the COVIC-19 pandemic, only one of the five planned trips could be realized. Therefore, in October 2020, the Blinken OSA began redesigning the project to offer a similar learning experience, but this time online, making the program available for many more students even during the pandemic. The plan was to roll out a set of learning aids that would help teachers in exploring the era with their students in an interactive and immersive fashion.
’89 Bringing it Home / Online is now available!
We invite everyone to take a look at the dedicated project website (in Hungarian), and let us know what you think! You will find four learning aids on the website, two games, and two teachers’ manuals.
• 1986 – a downloadable 3D computer game. 1986, just like the original simulation game of the study trip, offers an immersive, gamified learning experience. The setting, props, and story provide a glimpse into the late 1980s, while the puzzles incorporate a wealth of original sources (videos, newspapers, pictures); among them, some of the fascinating primary sources held in the Archives.
• Regime change tour – an online gamified walking tour. Including short videos, a collection of sources, and quizzes in between the four stops, it takes through the original walking tour about the anti-regime demonstrations of 1988–1989.
• Simulation game manual – a teachers’ manual with ideas and instructions for realizing a half-day creative workshop, set in 1988. The task is for students to organize the next World Festival of Youth and Students. The manual contains precise guidance, explanations, tasks for the students, and a selection of primary sources they can engage with in class.
• Jövőkép (Outlook) manual – a teachers’ manual for holding a creative fanzine-making workshop, either online or offline.
The Blinken OSA hopes that the above aids help facilitate students’ meaningful engagement with the ideas, events, and ultimately, the meaning(s) of the Hungarian regime change in a novel and easily accessible way.
We wish all teachers, students—and any other interested parties—an exciting, entertaining, and educative experience: here!