Escape! – Collaboration within a game based environment

By | 1st November 2018

Image courtesy of Escape Rooms, London


We all like games, well, I hope so. If you don’t then please go to your nearest thrift store and look for classics such as Monopoly or Scrabble or go more advanced and start playing the likes of Catan. Anyhow, one interesting form of gaming are Escape Rooms. These are physical adventure games where you have to solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete set objectives. Commonly, players are given a set time limit to discover a secret plot which is hidden within the rooms.

Recently, a group from the University of Minnesota piloted the use of such gaming concepts in the health care education setting. The concept of the interprofessional escape room was tested and the results of which were recently published in our journal.

Seven professions were tested and brought together- dental hygiene, dental therapy, healthcare administration, healthcare ethics, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and physical therapy. The room itself took 8 students at a time and a medical case study was used as the ‘plot’. This provided a novel method of simulation and case study exploration, with results showing positive interprofessional teamwork and collaboration.

The escape room is no doubt innovative and more work, as the authors correctly point out, needs to be done. However, there was clear enjoyment through the process, something that we sometimes lack in education. Students and tutors must enjoy the learning process and I for one am keen to try using an escape room, either as student or tutor!