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Pre-Conference Workshop A6

Serious Gaming: Designing an Educational Escape Room

Date Wednesday, Nov 27  Time   –      Price: 90.00 €   Status: places available

OEB speaker Jasper van Winden

Jasper van Winden

Utrecht University, The Netherlands

OEB speaker Emma Bosman

Emma Bosman

Educational consultant & designer, Utrecht University, The Netherlands


Like many other institutions, Utrecht University strives to transform its education towards more active and blended learning. Some teachers adapt their teaching easily to new opportunities that technology has to offer. However, it proves to be difficult to gain buy-in from the majority of teachers to apply these new teaching methods.

In this half-day Workshop, the facilitators will introduce a novel approach that makes it possible for this hard-to-reach target group to experience and reflect on digital teaching tools. The goal is to support them in making informed decisions on tool use in their own teaching.

The project “Escaping the Chasm” strives to broaden teachers’ views on the technological opportunities for education by designing a fun, collaborative activity, inspired by escape rooms. During the project, an actual pop-up Escape Room was created, taking specific needs and conditions for teachers and the educational goal into account.

If you would like go with fellow participants on an escape room adventure before this Workshop starts: sign up for it separately in the registration form!


In the first part of the Workshop, information will be provided about the design, set-up, development, and implementation of the Escape Room for teachers; experience and lessons learned from experience will also be shared. In the second part, a “Game Jam” will be created in which teams of participants will design their own Escape Room experience.


  • Introduction
    • Project “Escaping The Chasm”
    • Which “Chasm”?
    • The design idea and educational goals
    • Short introduction to Escape Rooms
  • The Design process and challenges
    • Stepping into the “magic circle” (the arrival)
    • In-Game, monitoring with Game Masters
    • The debriefing with an educational consultant
    • Expectations - time and people
  • Game Jam
    • How to design the story and setting
    • How to choose digital educational tools as puzzle base
    • How to design a puzzle
    • Presenting design to each other
  • Conclusion


Participants will learn about the basic design principles of designing an educational Escape Room (or serious game). Their main takeaways will be:

  • How to use serious games to connect with the hard-to-reach target group of teachers for technology acceptance in education
  • What should you expect designing an Escape Room?
  • Hands-on experience with designing the first basics for an Escape Room

You will go home with a basic concept of an escape room to implement in your own organisation.

Who will benefit most?

Anyone with the need to acquaint their (autonomous) colleagues or employees with the opportunities that technology has to offer for their profession.

The facilitators’ own project has a focus on higher education and is specifically interesting for educational designers and technologists; faculty-development professionals; and directors of education and teachers. However, the conceptual design and experiences are relevant for other branches as well.