17 Escape Rooms

Escape Rooms

Carrie Lewis Miller

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the use of escape rooms as a learning tool

“An escape room is a physical activity game where players can work together to solve a series of clues based on a theme. You can consider a series of clues related to research and prompt students to conduct research like a scavenger hunt. Here you will instructions and guidelines to help you create an escape room experience for your students” (Pun, 2017, para. 1).

Escape rooms can be recreated in physical or digital classrooms to provide learning, practice, or review opportunities for students (ex: A game of Li[Fe] and Escape Rooms in an Integrated Engineering program ). In the physical classroom, stations can be set up where students can solve puzzles to receive clues.  The series of clues should allow them to solve the main puzzle and “escape” the room (note: students are never literally locked into a room or building).  You can also develop physical puzzles, lockboxes, or other items that can be manipulated by students.  Breakout.edu has some great ideas and props.

You can also design digital escape rooms for review or practice.  The Hogwart’s Digital Escape Room uses Google Forms to take library patrons through a series of library-related questions and puzzles to escape.  The Psychology of Learning Escape Room is a review of Behaviorism for Psychology Students using Qualtrics and a series of puzzles. Both digital escape rooms use branching logic to guide users to a certain path based on their responses.  Hints may or may not be built into the escape rooms to help users find the correct path “out”.

In addition to helping students explore the content, Escape Rooms can help students develop these skills:

  • Social Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Resilience
  • Lateral Thinking
  • Time Management
  • Engagement (School Break, n.d., pp. 4-5).


Escape rooms do not have to be complicated or time-consuming to build.  You can also involve your students in some higher-order thinking skills and ask each one of them to contribute one puzzle to the escape room for all students to solve.


Pun, R. (2017). “Information Literacy in the Escape Room.” CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments).  https://www.projectcora.org/assignment/information-literacy-escape-room.
School Break. (n.d.). Using Escape Rooms in Teaching. School Break Handout 1. http://www.school-break.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SB_Handbook_1_eER_use_in_teaching.pdf
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Game Based and Adaptive Learning Strategies Copyright © 2021 by Carrie Lewis Miller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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