Nanna’s nightmare. Can gamification educate as well as entertain?

Ms Leigh Moore1, Associate Professor Narelle Campbell1

1Flinders University, Darwin, Australia

Background: Escape rooms are a purposeful physical adventure game requiring a team to ‘escape’ by solving a series of puzzles through clues and strategy. Inspired by the team-building and problem-solving involved in escape rooms we decided to explore the possibilities of this platform as a novel, inter-professional, educational resource for tertiary level health care students. After developing a portable ‘room’ we ran several pilot sessions of this format. Results indicated high acceptability and entertainment value  to participants. Our research project, described here, focuses on evaluating the educational aspect of the same escape room, combined with a workshop.

The project: Participants will be recruited throughout the year from allied health, medical and nursing students either living in the Darwin region or visiting for clinical placement blocks. Students will be invited to participate in a 2.5 hour interactive, educational session which includes our escape room ‘Nana’s Nightmare’ and a related workshop focusing on teamwork and inter-professional practice. Up to six students can enrol in a single session to make up a team. The educational value of the sessions will be assessed via student self-rated attainment of learning objectives, student answers to a short quiz and comparison of their team-developed care plan with an exemplar. (Flinders University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee Project number: 8244)

Results and implications: The first Nana’s Nightmare session is scheduled for February 2019 with sessions to continue through until November. After round one of advertising the sessions, interest from students, universities and workplace supervisors has been higher than expected.  Interim results and discussion from the first six months will be presented at this conference. Attendees will be able to share in our journey to date and be armed with information to enable consideration of how an educational escape room might better prepare students for the workplace


Leigh Moore has worked as a community pharmacist in regional and remote areas of the Northern Territory for over 25 years . Since 2007 she has also worked with medical, pharmacy and allied health placements and education. She is passionate about the provision of quality healthcare to people in rural and remote areas through education and preparation of current and future practitioners. Leigh still works part-time in pharmacy while enjoying her role with the  Flinders University, Rural and Remote Interprofessional Placement Learning (RIPPL) team.

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