They talk about the positives of gamified learning but this takes gamification off screens and into the physical world.
Escape Rooms are an innovative learning and teaching method that have student teams engage in learning games created around Escape Room hypothetical situations. Participants engage in time-limited games where teams of players are tasked to enter a simulated room setting and solve a series of puzzles to accomplish a specific goal or to “escape” by solving the final puzzle.
The approach has been especially successful in engaging high-school students from relative socio-educational disadvantage in trials in the top end, getting students into university campuses and then encouraging them to attend courses.
Staff at Flinders NT in Darwin trialled an Escape Room strategy to get high school students to visit its campus and engage with the University. The results compiled over a two-year period were positive.
Part of the research involved an Escape Room competition, for which high schools entered teams of six students to design their own health-themed escape room. So far, 10 schools have competed in the competition over two years.
They reported that student participants reported a heightened sense of capability, confidence, purpose and resourcefulness, along with an elevated appreciation of academic culture.
“Escape Rooms are an effective way to engage high school students and high schools, along with university students,” says author and education academic Leigh Moore.
“With further evaluation and development, the Escape Room competition could be used as a solid starting point for ongoing support through the years of study and into careers in areas of need,” says Associate Professor Narelle Campbell, academic lead for the research.
She now believes a longitudinal evaluation of student decision-making after participating in any of the Escape Room activities would be valuable in directing future school engagement, and possibly creating stronger pathways for students to higher education.
The findings - Escaping the Norm: Games for Wider Participation with a Sense of Success. A Practice Report, by Leigh Moore and Narelle Campbell - have been published in Student Success Journal (DOI: 0.5204/ssj.1609).
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