Breaking the chains of videoconferencing: The possibilities of educational escape rooms

Debbie Holley, Carina Buckley, Kate Coulson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The ‘Student digital experience insights survey’ recently released by Jisc summarised the experiences of over 20,000 HE students at a range of 28 institutions, including the surprising finding that only 20% of students gain any ‘real world’ simulation experiences as part of their degree. These tend to be in engineering, design and healthcare, limiting opportunities still further. Game-based learning, or gamification, has become more popular in recent years as a means by which real-life problems and scenarios can be presented to students in a more immersive way, allowing them to explore knowledge, content and techniques through simulation. While this can create motivation and engagement for students (Tang et al, 2009), the research around gamification has more often concentrated on the variety and novelty of technologies involved, rather than the pedagogy of those choices (Clarke et al, 2017), despite creativity, games and roleplay being established educational methods (e.g. the Community of Practice @CreativeHE draws upon these methodologies to inform their research). This presentation introduces the concept of Escape Rooms as a situated, experiential pedagogy that exploits the technology to create an educationally rich, collaborative learning experience that has the potential to provide for all students the ‘real world’ simulations they have been missing. While many delegates will undoubtedly be familiar with Escape Rooms in some form, we focus on them here within the framework of digital creative practices that engage and support students in their learning, and offer a template and resources that can be adapted for local contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation for Learning Development in Higher Education Conference 2021
Subtitle of host publicationALDinHE
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2021


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