Nov 22
Breaking Out For Learning

Have you ever been to an escape room? Escape rooms are growing in popularity as a unique form of entertainment. Essentially, participants get “locked" in a theme room; for example, a bank, a ship, or a castle. With a 45-60 minute time limit, participants work together to find hidden clues and solve puzzles to “escape".

Educators are using the same principle in the classroom too.

I got a firsthand look at how to create an escape room in the classroom from Instructor Dr. Eva Brown. Eva teaches in the Business/Technology Teacher Education program. Eva and her colleagues are preparing the next generation of business and technology teachers for the public school system in Manitoba right here at Red River College.

Here's how it works:

  • Break Out 1.jpgThe Instructor prepares a series of content-related questions. These questions (or clues for the questions) are hidden around the classroom. As the group of students finds and successfully answers the questions, they are gathering clues for how to unlock a large box (think tool box) that has some kind of prize (think treats!). For example, successfully answering a math question may reveal the first number of a combination lock.
  • Instead of paper problems and clues, you can also set up the questions in a Google Form. That makes it really easy to share with students (and other Instructors).

Break Out 2.jpgThe popular name brand version of this technique is Breakout EDU, but you can also to it with a series of boxes and locks on your own. That's how Eva handles it. She has purchased various locks – a combination lock, a keyed lock, and a directional lock. This provides lots of options for how the content answers can be used to access the box.

I asked Eva about the draw of this approach: “The beauty of this teaching tool is that you are seamlessly integrating content with 21st century skills like collaboration, problem solving, creativity and communication."

Give it a try. See if your students can “break out".

What innovations are you using in your teaching practice? Click the sign in button on the top right, enter your RRC credentials, and join the conversation.


I had the opportunity to ta...

I had the opportunity to take a CAE class from Eva and it doesn't surprise me that she would create something so innovative and engaging. I'm going to think about how I can integrate something similar in my classes.
Picture Placeholder: Harv Mock
  • Harv Mock
 on 11/22/2019 8:42 AM

This is such a great intera...

This is such a great interactive idea! Way to go, Eva! I know that instructors and students from Creative Arts created a  blended physical (real-time) escape room with a virtual reality escape room. Moving from physical to virtual reality was so cool (and I got stumped a few times!). It was also neat that the students were the ones to create the puzzles for others to solve and then build the "rooms".  I agree that the collaborative and problem-solving skills highlighted in these activities in Teacher Ed are crucial for all of our students. Thanks for sharing this example, Eva!
Picture Placeholder: Christine E Watson
  • Christine E Watson
 on 11/22/2019 9:02 AM