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.