Teaching Innovation Awards Winner
De Montfort University
With practical teaching being delivered remotely, an innovative pedagogic tool that would allow students to practise their skills in an applied and engaging way was needed. An escape room is a team game in which a group is locked in a themed room and must escape by finding clues to solve successive puzzles, with the final one unlocking the door. Recently, escape rooms have emerged as a useful pedagogic tool for university students to apply knowledge through problem-solving whilst developing team-work and communication skills. With the aid of LearnSci LabSims, what is believed to be the first remote lab escape game, has been created.
Furaiya, a final year biomedical science dissertation student, created Escape The Virtual Biochemistry Lab. Players are presented with a picture of a biochemistry lab, from which they must escape by entering a three-digit door code before the building is locked. To crack the code, players must calculate the concentration of protein in the urine of Patient X, however their spreadsheet is only partially complete. By carrying out various virtual tasks based around LearnSci LabSims integrated on the VLE/LMS, students solve clues and obtain the missing data to escape.
This lab escape game successfully engaged students and in addition supported peer-teaching as student testers were promoted to 'lab assistants' who then supported the rest of the class. The game can be adapted easily to other subjects and, because it is all built and hosted on the VLE/LMS, can be played remotely without the need for a host. The activity is currently being prepared for publication.