The "escape rooms" are team games to "escape" from a room or a virtual room. This room is full of challenges that must be passed to win (escape) within a given time limit .
Due to the traditional teaching is causing problems around motivation and commitment and it is perceived as ineffective and boring by many students, the use of educational games is very promising because they are a teaching tool to enhance the non-cognitive skills such as problem solving, collaboration and communication. The games have a remarkable motivating power due to the use of a series of mechanisms that encourage people to participate in them, often without any reward, just for the satisfaction of playing and competing, and the possibility of winning .
In the academic course 2019-2020, we have developed activities based on “escape room” in different subjects: “Science and Analysis of water and beverages” of the Degree in Food Science and Technology, "Analytical Chemistry I" and "Pharmaceutical Physico-Chemistry” of the Pharmacy Degree and “Chemistry” of the Degree in Optics and Optometry at Complutense University, Madrid.
For the development of the project, all the characteristics and the progress of the different phases of the escape room seminar were informed in the first day of class and through the Virtual Campus platform. Students grouped themselves (5-7 people/group) and appointed a spokesperson that was responsible to reply the puzzles of the activity. At the end of this action, the students voluntarily responded to Likert surveys to assess their implication and their perception about their learning, teamwork, and whether if they enjoyed with the proposed activity. They replied with a high score (4/5) to questions such as "It was useful to improve the subject understanding” and "It was useful to establish basic concepts". Furthermore, they assigned the highest score (5/5) when replied about “It was a good option as a class activity" and "I liked participate in the activity". Thus, the “escape room” activity resulted in an effective tool for the student motivation and improved their commitment to the subject.
Gamification, Escape room, Higher Education, Innovation