Just in time for summer fun, 60out is opening the largest and most innovative immersive entertainment center on the west coast at HHLA. This flagship location will feature five escape rooms and a VR room with more than 30 live-action adventures.
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Escape rooms are a fantastic way to take a break from our real lives for an hour and just have fun. But did you know that escape rooms make a great learning environment as well? Today, escape rooms are becoming more popular with educators as an innovative tool for teaching students a variety of topics (including general science, medicine, psychology, and more!). In this blog post, we’ll explore a new study that shows just how effective escape rooms can be for learning in the classroom — and beyond.
In this 2021 study, researchers from the Freudenthal Institute Utrecht University of the Netherlands, explored the impact of educational escape rooms in science education for seventh graders. In the study, 50 teachers and 270 students used a biology-themed escape room that included puzzles about various biological concepts. The study aimed to identify the following points:
After the escape room challenge, students were interviewed about their experiences. The researchers discovered that 88% of them had positive feedback regarding their experience, whereas 9% appeared to be neutral and 3% had negative feedback.
The researchers discovered the parts of the game students liked most were similar to what we all like about escape rooms: solving puzzles, cracking codes, and opening vaults. When the researchers asked the students what they gained from working and learning in the escape room, the majority of them answered teamwork, followed by discovering or thinking for themselves. This shows that escape rooms improve students’ interest in working collaboratively to solve complex problems, which is an important skill to have in the scientific field, and in life in general!
After the escape room challenge, researchers also interviewed the teachers about their observations. Teachers were asked which factor they think motivated the students in the escape room challenge. The researchers learned that the majority of teachers felt that their students were primarily motivated by the competition and the excitement of winning the prize. This is contrary to the students' true interests, which included solving puzzles and learning to work as a team.
After gathering data from interviews with students and teachers, the researchers identified barriers that might make it more difficult to use escape rooms in education.
Limited Time: In education and learning, time is one of the most limited resources. The majority of the teachers in the study believed that setting up and organizing the escape rooms for the students would consume too much time and energy.
Common Requirements: Teachers in the study believed that it would be too challenging to develop an escape room challenge that aligns with their curriculum.
However, despite the educational boundaries and barriers mentioned, 42 of 50 teachers that were interviewed still wanted to implement educational escape rooms for science education.
According to the study, compared to regular classes, students who participated in the educational escape room challenge learned to become more attentive, improved their critical thinking, and strengthened their teamwork skills. These are essential learning foundations, particularly in science-related classes. This demonstrates that escape rooms create an ideal learning environment for science education students.
While the majority of teachers stated that the escape rooms provided an excellent learning environment for all types of education, they believed that the escape room experience is more focused on reviewing past knowledge, rather than teaching new concepts or facts. While it’s more difficult to design, escape rooms can be used to teach new information. For example, a great educational escape room could include codes that teach students new scientific facts when the code is cracked.
As this study showed, doing escape rooms enhances important skills such as attentiveness, critical thinking, motivation, and teamwork. Having an escape room adventure — whether inside the classroom or out — is a fantastic way to have fun while learning and improving!
Ready to improve your own teamwork skills and more? Check out 60out’s variety of exciting escape rooms at our convenient locations throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.