As health professions education evolves toward active learning environments, interest in using games as an educational tool is increasing. One contemporary commercial game that has design potential for learning activities is an "escape" or "breakout" room. Escape rooms are live-action games where teams of players work to achieve a common goal in a set amount of time. Limited literature is available assessing this type of gaming format for education design. This study investigated the design and implementation of an escape room learning activity in a third-year pharmacy infectious disease elective course at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.
During a Gram-positive antimicrobial resistance module, third-year pharmacy students participated in both patient case-based instruction and an escape room learning activity. Three IRB-approved surveys were distributed electronically to students; the first was completed prior to class and functioned as a standard teaching tool to assess mastery of content based on pre-assigned reading and previous coursework. Two surveys were completed after the session to assess knowledge and perceptions gained during each learning activity. Students answered multiple-choice knowledge-based questions and then responded to 5 statements using a Likert scale from 1 to 7 (1 = Not at all, 4 = Somewhat, and 7 = Very much) to indicate perceptions of each instructional activity.
Nineteen students participated in the study. The mean correct scores for knowledge-based assessment were 90.5% in the pre-class survey, 82.1% in the post-case survey, and 90.5% in the post-escape room survey. There was an overall positive perception of both learning activities based on results of the survey questions. The escape room learning activity was preferred by 18 of 19 students (94.7%), but only 11 of 19 (57.9%) indicated they learned better from the escape room.
This study illustrates an escape room designed to meet lecture learning objectives is a feasible active learning technique. While students demonstrated knowledge gained from the activity and indicated positive perceptions, this approach warrants further evaluation.
L. Simpson, None
D. S. Burgess, None
J. Cain, None