Who is it for?

Higher Education (students and staff), Businesses, Young People

How long does it take?

90 minutes to 2 hours (to play), 1 or 2 days (to design)

What is it?

An Escape Room experience for educational purposes – so employing mystery and problem solving to develop valuable skills

Detailed Description

An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players are ‘locked’ in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. The games are physical versions of “escape the room” video games. Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons and space stations, and are popular as team building exercises.

EscapED (part of the GameChangers initiative) has taken the concept of the escape room and repurourposed it for use in Higher Education. The emphasis of the educational escape room is not on the learning within the allotted time of the game itself, but rather in the reflective process within the debrief period. The game itself merely provided the mechanism for which to create a rich reflective process.

Value Added

The value of an educational escape game depends on a variety of factors. Sometimes the value comes from soft skills development (communication, problem solving, team work etc.) as well as working to develop team dynamics. This in turn can be transferred into other modules and disciplines to aid in the development of a holistic learning model which focuses on the graduate of the future as a flexible, well rounded individual both academically and personally. In other examples the value may come from the solving of a particular puzzle/riddle/challenge. The value comes from the use of the rooms as a tool to help your cohort meet their intended learning outcomes.


  • An engaging and active teaching tool
  • Can be run within groups
  • Can be repurposed for specific disciplines
  • Can help identify which students may need further support


  • Develops team work and communication skills
  • Engaging way to learn
  • Provides the tools for reflection on team dynamics
  • Encourages teamwork and active participation


  • Develops soft skills (team work, communication, etc.)
  • Helps to understand team dynamics and power relationships
  • Encourages teamwork and active participation
Learning and Teaching Resources

A Guide to designing your
own educational Escape Room.

YouTube Playlist

Clarke, S. , Arnab, S. , Keegan, H. , Morini, L. and Wood, O. (2016) ‘EscapED: Adapting Live-Action, Interactive Games to Support Higher Education Teaching and Learning Practices’ in Rosa Bottino, Johan Jeuring and Remco C. Veltkamp (Eds). Games and Learning Alliance (pp: 144-153). Switzerland: Springer

Clarke, S., Arnab, S. & Morini, L (2016). EscapED: Adapting Live-Action, Interactive Games to Support Higher Education Teaching and Learning Practices. Games Learning Society Conference. Aug 2016

Clarke, S., Arnab, S. & Morini, L, Wood, O., Green, K. & Master, A. (2016). EscapED: A Framework for Creating Live-Action, Interactive Games for Higher/Further Education Learning and Soft Skills Development. ECGBL 2016, Paisley, Oct 2016


Samantha Clarke

Oliver Wood