An adaptation of the ‘Escape Rooms’ methodology in online learning to facilitate and investigate active learner-led activities and experiences

Sylvester Arnab, Emma Eyre, Mark Noon, Sarah Kernaghan-Andrews, Dominic Mahon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
217 Downloads (Pure)


This paper discusses the adaptation of ‘Escape Rooms’ methodology in online learning and investigates whether meaningful learner-led activities can be supported. The study has been built into an existing module at Coventry University, where students are expected to demonstrate study skills/competencies needed to analyse, employ, synthesise, and communicate evidence. The sampling was opportunistic, targeting students (n=13) who were already registered on the module. Microsoft Teams was selected as the online platform. This paper firstly discusses the design and development considerations, and secondly explores students’ experiences using a multi-method approach to evaluate student engagement and competencies. The engagement aspects include the playful experience, perspectives on the approach, and gameplay strategy. Competencies associated with the learning objectives of the module include identifying a range of evidence types (scientific discovery and application, digital literacy) and interpreting information from a range of different evidence types (data
interpretation, time management, problem-solving, exploring data). The target competencies also include communication and teamwork. The findings identify that co-created virtual escape room (VER) features enabled students to positively engage in the task leading to positive feelings about the experience. Students perceived that the VER enabled them to develop skills/competencies and knowledge, specifically problem solving and teamwork. The investigation highlights that online platforms not necessarily associated with playful experiences can be recontextualised to support meaningful learning experiences. The approach can be adapted on other platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2021
EditorsPanagiotis Fotaris
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781914587122
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2021
Event15th European Conference on Games Based Learning - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sept 202124 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Conference15th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Abbreviated titleECGBL
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

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  • Active learning
  • Escape rooms
  • Online learning
  • Playful learning
  • Virtual escape rooms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Education


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  • GameChangers

    Arnab, S., Morini, L. & Atkins-Wood, O.


    Project: Research

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