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Par Enrique Gómez-Puig Gómez
Fév 2nd, 2021

A group of teachers from SAFA College of Education and 22 students from the Early Childhood and Primary Degree, specialized in ITC, have created and implemented a Virtual Escape Room that has reached 503 schools and a total of 7,576 students from all over Spain and other countries. In this half a thousand, we find participants from schools located in the USA (18), Mexico (7), Finland (4), France, the Netherlands, Morocco and Israel.

The present health situation has made our teachers at SAFA College of Education adapt an activity they had been developing with their SAFA College of Education students in Úbeda (Jaén) for years to a complete virtual environment.

The activity, which had as its main goal to coordinate an educational experience among would-be teachers to achieve an interdisciplinary task to offer to early childhood and primary teachers and students, has exceeded all the expectations when developing in a virtual environment. Apart from the massive participation of schools, we counted on the families, who have carried out this fun learning activity from home during Christmas holidays. Another purpose of the Jesuit SAFA College has been to make this virtual educational experience accessible in a complicated moment for kids to share in-class leisure activities due to the safety and social-distancing measures, and for this reason, this on-line escape room has made possible that they come closer in spite of the distance.

The Education Degree students who have designed this activity have completely involved in this project, carrying out a wide variety of tasks. These include the research on the topic they wanted to develop: the evolution of the human species, the creation of a web page where they could lead the experience, the design and selection of different games and challenges based on flash applications, audios, videos, Google forms, various apps integrated in the website (games with Educaplay or Genially) and the preparation of the lock, which allows the player, once all stages have been overcome, to reach the final challenge.

The interest of primary students to find out the meaning of the sentence “Man comes from the monkey” has been the starting point of an experience of games and learning of different subjects such as language, music, arts, mathematics or history, adapted to 4 different educational levels, from early childhood students (from 3 to 5 year-old children) to primary students (from 6 to 12 year-old children).

The teachers of the schools that have participated have received the material to implement this activity (links, solutions, answer sheets), as well as the live technical support from the Education College during the week in which the Escape Room has been developing and certificates of participation for all the students who participated.

The college teachers in charge of the experience, José Hidalgo, Elena Moreno and Rosa María Perales, have emphasized the motivation, the collaborative work and the importance of enjoying learning as a fundamental aspect of this type of activities, highlighting that gamification promotes a better inclusion, being a nice way of putting the student in the focus of the teaching-learning process.

The great welcome of the Escape Room has also allowed the teachers to carry out an evaluation and count on the opinions of all the teachers who participated so they can improve this initiative.