The Learning and Teaching Strategy emphasises innovative teaching and working in partnership with engaged and talented students. A project exploring the use of escape games in education achieved both of these aims. ‘Escape rooms’ have become a popular visitor experience in many cities across the world. The premise is that teams enter a themed space that they must explore for puzzles. Solving the clues leads to the resolution of the mystery and the team ‘escapes’.
Thanks to a Teaching Fellow Development Grant, and in conjunction with the Student Union, the Centre for Languages, Culture & Communication ran a workshop in August for 25 students to learn about designing and developing escape games. The project was called Imp-ER-ial ('ER' for 'Escape Room'). During two-day workshop, students had a chance to play examples of classroom-based escape games and work in groups to design games of their own. A highlight of the workshop was an introduction to Imperial’s Advanced Hackspace at White City. Students had a chance to use the 3D printers and laser cutters as an introduction to using these in puzzle design.
The four teams, under the mentorship of James Moss (ICSM), Sarah Otner (Business School), Sohag Saleh (ICSM) and Beth Slater (alumnus), developed their games over the summer. They were showcased, with great success, on 4 October 2017 to invited staff and students.
The games are now being developed for use in induction activities, student enterprise, outreach or potential fringe events.
Thank you to Sarah Otner for the photographs.