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Creating Engaging Escape Rooms in First Year Engineering Courses: A Pilot Study

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Conference

2019 FYEE Conference

Location

Penn State University , Pennsylvania

Publication Date

July 28, 2019

Start Date

July 28, 2019

End Date

July 30, 2019

Conference Session

M2C: Learning by Design 2

Tagged Topic

FYEE Conference - Paper Submission

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33686

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

biography

Scott Streiner Rowan University

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Dr. Scott Streiner is an assistant professor in the Experiential Engineering Education Department (ExEEd) at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus in engineering education. His research interests include engineering global competency, curricula and assessment; pedagogical innovations through game-based and playful learning; spatial skills development and engineering ethics education. His funded research explores the nature of global competency development by assessing how international experiences improve the global perspectives of engineering students. Dr. Streiner has published papers and given presentations in global engineering education at several national conferences. Scott is an active member in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) both locally and nationally, as well as the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).

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Duncan Davis Northeastern University

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Duncan Davis is an Assistant Teaching Professor in First Year Engineering. His research focuses on using gamification to convey course content in first year classes. Mostly recently, he has implemented a series of escape room projects to teach engineering to first year students through the process of designing, prototyping, and building these play experiences.

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Richard Tyler Cimino New Jersey Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0003-4171-4133

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Dr. Richard T. Cimino is a Senior Lecturer in the Otto H. York Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering from the Rutgers University, with a focus in adsorption science and the characterization of porous materials. His research interests include engineering ethics and process safety, and broadening inclusivity in engineering, especially among the LGBTQ+ community. His previous funded research has explored the effects of implicit bias on ethical decision making in the engineering classroom.

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Kaitlin Mallouk Rowan University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4367-1165

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Kaitlin Mallouk is an Assistant Professor of Experiential Engineering Education at Rowan University. Prior to beginning that role, she spent five years an Instructor in the Mechanical Engineering and Experiential Engineering Education Departments at Rowan. Kaitlin has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an MS and PhD in Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.

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Abstract

The value of games in education has been established with serious educational games, games designed to teach a topic, gamification, and game-based learning (either using commercial games or self-developed games). Educational games can provide immediate feedback and incentives to progress, foster communication skills, and encourage experimentation and creative problem solving. Live-action games, such as escape rooms, are ideal for in-person classrooms as they require little technology and can take advantage of the shared environment of the classroom. Nicholson defines escape rooms as “live-action team-based games where players discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to accomplish a specific goal (usually escaping from the room) in a limited time”. Deep learning comes with dynamic immersion amid complex, realistic, and inherently social situations that produce opportunities for active learning. Escape rooms allow students to cooperate under a time limit, which creates an urgency that drives student teams to engage with content in a way that traditional learning activities may not.

This full paper presents the development and implementation of escape room design projects in first-year engineering courses at Rowan University and Northeastern University. In these pilot projects, first-year engineering students worked together to design, build, and fabricate their own class-wide escape rooms motivated by “learning by design”. Students explored the characteristics of design thinking that are non-linear, iterative, generative, and creative. In this project, students were tasked to collaboratively design an escape room, requiring the various student teams to contribute to the room in unique ways. In part, each team was responsible for making a fabricated object, two puzzles, and a 3D printed object. Additionally, a jigsaw method was utilized to split the teams into committees that were responsible for connecting the escape room elements together. This included narrative, flow, infrastructure, and marketing committees that all had different roles in creating the final escape room product. This paper will additionally highlight themes around motivation and student accountability, teamwork, and project management. The authors believe that having first-year engineering students design and play through escape rooms provides a holistic, student-centered approach for teaching design thinking with an emphasis on art and creativity.

Streiner, S., & Davis, D., & Cimino, R. T., & Mallouk, K. (2019, July), Creating Engaging Escape Rooms in First Year Engineering Courses: A Pilot Study Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/33686

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