Teaching and Learning
in the Digital World

Interactive Web Pages: Action Mazes

Deborah Healey, dhealey AT uoregon DOT edu

This was originally part of the 2000 Culpeper Workshop at the University of Puget Sound.

An action maze is a kind of "create your own adventure" story. Students are given a scenario, and must make a choice. As a result of that choice, they are faced with the next phase of the story. This is a wonderful tool for presenting ethical dilemmas and their outcomes, as well as for language study -- the results of an inappropriate choice of word in a foreign language or culturally inappropriate action can be dramatic and memorable.

One of the better-known action mazes for language learners comes from Martin Holmes, called the Evil Landlady Action Maze.

Some student-created mazes are at the Quandary website at http://www.halfbakedsoftware.com/quandary_tutorials_examples.php.

A free version of Quandary, software used to help make your own action maze, is at http://www.halfbakedsoftware.com/quandary.php. This is originally from the University of Victoria, like Hot Potatoes.

Consider: How might your students use an action maze? Would it be better for you to create one or for them to do it?

Try it: Work through the Evil Landlady Action Maze and think about how you might construct an action maze for your class.


Go to the Interactive Web Pages home page.

Updated November 2, 2009 by Deborah Healey, dhealey AT uoregon DOT edu
Copyright 2009, Deborah Healey