back arrow JOPERD Table of Contents

Escape Rooms in Health Education

Thomas Trendowski

joperd cover

Escape rooms are an increasingly popular industry that requires people to discover clues, solve codes and persevere through challenges. Adapted to a school setting, this may lead to an increase in student engagement, learning and enjoyment (Whitley et al., 2019). For health education, teachers can utilize this modality to review, teach new content or practice skills-based learning. The purpose of this article is to (a) align escape rooms with educational theory, (b) define escape rooms, (c) discuss the construction process and (d) provide an overview of the benefits and limitations.

Escape rooms can be used as a form of experiential learning, a theory that focuses on salient experiences of the learner via reflection of action. Slavich and Zimbardo (2012) contended that experiential learning will augment the quality of a course. “This occurs both when students are engaged in solving problems that are part of the activities and when they are analyzing, sharing, discussing, and reflecting on their reactions” (Slavich & Zimbardo, 2012, p. 594). In other words, the students will have impactful experiences when they interact with information in a meaningful way. Furthermore, Slavich and Zimbardo postulated that learning new ideas, in tandem with significant events, makes information more impactful. In turn, these experiences will help students retain and recall information. Diaz et al. (2020) utilized this theory with an escape room and discovered an increase in learning and engagement. In addition, the authors explained that debriefing after the game allowed educators to review important information and affirm qualities such as collaboration and teamwork. Therefore, escape rooms can be a practice grounded in experiential learning that can benefit students.

To read the rest of this article, click here to download a pdf.

Read the Full Cover Story