Become an Innovative Online Nurse Educator

Ice-Breaker Tuesday: Mystery Collaborators: Cracking the Code!

Feb 13, 2024

Today's ice-breaker activity is all about the power of collaboration and problem-solving through the Mystery Collaborators activity. Are you ready to take your online course community to the next level by fostering strong connections, critical thinking, and meaningful teamwork? Then join us for this engaging and interactive online course activity that will get your students working together in no time! Get ready to put on your detective hats, unravel clues, crack codes, and build powerful connections within the course.

Creating an online scavenger hunt for your asynchronous online course is a great way to engage students and encourage them to explore the learning management system. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to set up and run the scavenger hunt:

Step 1: Define the Purpose and Objectives

Determine the goals of your scavenger hunt and what you want students to learn or achieve through this activity. Whether it's introducing them to key resources, enhancing their familiarity with the course materials, or simply breaking the ice, having clear objectives will guide your hunt's design. Since the goal of this game is also collaboration, I would reccomend breaking students up into groups of 3 or 4 students so they can work on the clues together.

Step 2: Create a List of Clues or Challenges

Develop a list of clues, challenges, or questions that lead students to different locations within the learning management system. Each clue should be associated with a specific code that they need to find and collect. Make sure the clues are related to course content and promote learning. Here's an example of a clue:

Clue 1: "To find your first code, visit the 'Course Syllabus' section. Look for the page that lists the course schedule. The code is hidden within the description of the midterm exam date."

Step 3: Hide the Codes

Hide the codes within the designated areas of your learning management system, as mentioned in the clues. Be creative in how you hide them – it could be in the text, as links, or even as downloadable files.

Step 4: Provide Instructions

Create clear and concise instructions for your students, explaining how the scavenger hunt works, including the rules, how to submit their findings, and any deadlines involved. Consider creating a dedicated page or form for students to post their progress and discuss the scavenger hunt.

Step 5: Set a Timeline

Decide on a timeline for the scavenger hunt. You can make it an ongoing activity throughout the semester, with new clues or challenges released periodically, or set a specific start and end date. Ensure that students have enough time to complete the hunt.

Step 6: Establish a Grading System

Determine how you'll assess students' participation and completion of the scavenger hunt. You might award points for each code found, participation in discussion, or the quality of reflections they write about the experience.

Step 7: Monitor Progress

Throughout the scavenger hunt, keep an eye on students' progress, answer any questions they have, and provide support as needed. Encourage peer interaction by allowing students to collaborate and help each other.

Step 8: Debrief and Reflect

Once the scavenger hunt is complete, host a debrief session or discussion board where students can share their experiences, what they learned, and how the activity helped them get to know the course materials better. This reflection can enhance the educational value of the activity.

Step 9: Announce Winners and Award Prizes (Optional)

If you choose to make it competitive, announce the winners or acknowledge the top participants. You can offer small prizes, certificates, or simply recognition for their achievements.

Step 10: Gather Feedback

After the scavenger hunt, gather feedback from your students about their experience. Use this feedback to improve future scavenger hunts or other course activities.

Remember to make the scavenger hunt enjoyable and engaging, and ensure that it aligns with your course objectives. This activity can be an effective ice-breaker and a fun way for students to explore your course materials and even get to know each other.

I'd love to hear your ideas on this ice-breaker. Share them in The Online Educator Facebook Group!

Would you like me to spotlight one of your ice-breakers? Share your assignment HERE for an opportunity to be spotlighted in The Online Educator Blog.

Happy Ice-Breaking!

I am a nurse and a college educator. I help other motivated educators leverage the tools needed to teach online successfully so that they can create lively, engaging, quality courses from the comfort of their homes!
© 2023~Natasha Nurse-Clarke~ All rights reserved. Originally published at This content can not be used for commercial purposes, including selling or licensing printed or digital versions of this content. For non-commercial purposes, please credit Natasha Nurse-Clarke~

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