Developing Visible Thinking and Motivation Through the Curricular Design of an Escape Room in Higher Education




Escape Room, higher education, educational innovation, motivation, thinking


Introduction. The term escape room has undergone a notable evolution in recent years, extending its presence to areas not only recreational but also business or educational. The defining traits (overcoming obstacles, problem-solving, teamwork, time management...) have proven to be valid in business and education. This study presents the pedagogical design of an escape room based on visible thinking and analyses its effect on the motivation and cognitive processes of higher education students. Method. For this purpose, a quasi-experimental research with pretest/post-test was conducted, and it was evaluated whether the instructional design of the escape room was adequate to enhance the learning of the 238 students, whether it was motivating, and whether it contributed to the development of cognitive processes. We used two structured questionnaires with multiple-choice questions and one questionnaire with open-ended questions. We also applied a mixed method for quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. Results. The results show that the students consider the characteristics of the escape room and the organization of its elements to be of high quality; they also show that the curricular design of the escape room enhances students’ learning. In particular, the students consider that they have developed group thinking, critical thinking, and the activation of prior knowledge through the escape room and have found it a motivating experience. Conclusions. The use of the escape room in educational environments has a high educational potential. This is not only because it encourages the development of higher-order cognitive processes but also because it contributes to teamwork, self-regulation, and student motivation. However, it must be designed as a significant part of the didactic program, taking special care in the development of competences and thinking.

Author Biographies

Naiara Bilbao-Quintana, Universidad del País Vasco

Profesora adjunta de la Facultad de Educación Universidad del País Vasco. Doctora en Educación y miembro del grupo de investigación consolidado del Sistema Vasco de Investigación “Weblearner” (IT-863-13). Experta desarrollo curricular. Sus líneas de investigación son: Desarrollo Curricular, Enseñanza para la Compresión, Pensamiento Visible, Formación del Profesorado y Tecnología Educativa.

Arantzazu López-de la Serna, Universidad del País Vasco

Doctora en Tecnología, Aprendizaje y Educación por la Universidad del País Vasco. Profesora en la Facultad de Educación de Bilbao. Pertenece al grupo de investigación consolidado del Gobierno Vasco “Weblearner” (IT863-13). Sus líneas de investigación preferentes se centran en mujer y tecnología, pedagogía y prevención en contextos virtuales e innovación educativa.

Ainara Romero-Andonegui, Universidad del País Vasco

Profesora adjunta de la Universidad del País Vasco.  Doctora en Educación. Experta en Tecnología Educativa y profesora del Máster Oficial en Tecnología, Aprendizaje y Educación. Miembro del grupo de investigación consolidado del Sistema Vasco de Investigación “Weblearner” (IT-863-13). Líneas de investigación: TIC-TAC-TEP, tecnología educativa, y Formación del profesorado.

Eneko Tejada-Garitano, Universidad del País Vasco

Es doctor por la Universidad del País Vasco y profesor de la Facultad de Educación de Bilbao. Forma parte del grupo de investigación consolidado Weblearner financiado por el Gobierno Vasco (IT-863-13). Ha desempeñado de forma ininterrumpida una actividad investigadora en el área de la educación, centrada en la innovación educativa y en la aplicación de las TICs a la educación.


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How to Cite

Developing Visible Thinking and Motivation Through the Curricular Design of an Escape Room in Higher Education (N. Bilbao-Quintana, A. López-de la Serna, A. Romero-Andonegui, & E. Tejada-Garitano , Trans.). (2021). Revista Electrónica Educare, 25(3), 1-20.



Journal Articles (Peer Reviewed Section)

How to Cite

Developing Visible Thinking and Motivation Through the Curricular Design of an Escape Room in Higher Education (N. Bilbao-Quintana, A. López-de la Serna, A. Romero-Andonegui, & E. Tejada-Garitano , Trans.). (2021). Revista Electrónica Educare, 25(3), 1-20.

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