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Escape Room for the classroom

Who doesn’t like a challenge?


What is an escape room?

Who doesn’t like a challenge? That’s exactly what escape rooms are about.

An escape room, or breakout, lays out a mystery that the student has to solve, transforming them into the protagonist of a story (narrative) that will guide them through different challenges or tasks in which they will have to use their skills and knowledge.
By catching the interest of the student and awakening their interest, we’re able to connect learning with emotion and motivation, key factors in knowledge acquisition. It allows the student to challenge themself and experience the satisfaction of solving an enigma.
The escape room has to include an ultimate challenge, which is the solution to the mystery that was posed in the story. The key for beating it is obtained by solving different puzzles (questions, enigmas, challenges, …) that are spread out through the story. Let’s see some examples?

My experience

My name is  Noemí Gallego and I have a degree in French Language and Literature from the Complutense University of Madrid. Since the year 2004, I have been working as an educator, and I am currently a French and Spanish Language teacher in the secondary school section of Salesianos Atocha in Madrid. I’ve also formed part of the innovation group for this section and the school for the past few years. 

I  have extensive professional development, training, and experience in active learning methodologies (cooperative learning, flipped classroom, gamification, project-based learning) and I believe they are the key for transforming education. Aside from that, I firmly believe in authentic assessments as one of the main resources for improving student performance. Along these lines, I’ve created numerous interactive and digital materials for my classes with different tools and applications. Among them, I have to highlight Genially, a tool I am an Ambassador for, for its versatility and practicality. 

Examples

Here you can find some geniallys that I’ve used in my Language classes.
With my 2nd year students I work with the characteristics of the narrative in order to solve this crime story. 
Have you ever played a murder mystery game? Now you can encourage your Language students to work on sintaxis and the different geographical areas of Spanish-speakers with  this escape game which will remind you of a famous board game. 
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the International Literacy Direction was developed. Help your students discover who the hacker is that wants to end the network of learning and transform themselves into security officers of literacy.

Challenges that I faced

Thanks to the amazing team at Genially, there are so many reusable templates that can help you get started; you just have to modify the questions and answers, but the interaction between elements on the page already exists.
On the one hand, the use of templates is comfortable, but when you have second doubts about the narratives, you need to personalize them and adapt them to your story. Personalization is a challenge, but after having a look at a few different examples and being willing to try and fail, it becomes easier.
One of the essential elements of an escape room are the keys or the passwords. If the interactivity in Genially gave an infinite amount of options for our audience to enter different combinations with different configurations, now it also allows us to add a password to a specific page. This option has substantially increased the possibilities for our escape room by allowing us to generate all kinds of passwords (alphanumeric combinations, words, number codes, proper names, …) It’s revolutionary!
The narrative is another challenge that we face when creating an escape room. While it’s true that any kind of question could fit in any kind of story, the result is better when the narrative, or story, is closely linked with the students’ interests or experiences. A good narrative accompanied by an intriguing plot will really capture your audience. You can search for inspiration in games, videogames, television series, the news, etc.

The best

  • The students’ motivation.
  • The interest that's awakened in the audience.
  • The possibilities for personalization.

Results and student feedback

Students are always open to participating in a session in which I propose an escape room. They approach them like a game, but they also know that they serve the purpose of learning or reviewing. They are one of the students’ favorite activities and they are always positively evaluated.

Are you up for it?

This has been my experience, what will yours be? Here are some challenges for you to take the leap to escape games in your classroom:

  • Take the risk and dare to bring games into your classroom.
  • Choose the common thread of your story well in order to make it attractive and connected to your students’ interests.
  • Vary the types of tasks and questions, give them an added value, and remember that they all need to lead to the solution of the final enigma.
  • Launch it and see how your students enjoy in class!