Lloyds understand the importance of data to a business. While only a small segment of their employees perform data-specific tasks, everyone in the business will have a touch on data at some point during their day-to-day work, whether they’re aware of it or not.
The Descape experience gives learners an introduction to data, building awareness of why the business needs it, and the importance of protecting it and ensuring it is of the highest quality. With the lightest of touches, Descape also shows learners how data intersects across common daily activities without needing lots of wordy explainers.
Based on an original idea to create a physical escape room experience, the pandemic meant that the project had to move online. However, mixing the creative use of video and multimedia, some brilliantly challenging puzzles plus a sense of mystery, learning online has seldom been so much fun.
“Prepare for something completely different” is the final, most essential command that instructs learners at the beginning of the module. Interrupting a funny dog video, an urgent email comes through from Mission Control at the fictional Abacus Banking Group. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to resolve some serious data issues following a cyber-attack. Time is of the essence if you’re to prevent these issues from impacting customers – or to stop word leaking out to the media, irrevocably damaging the bank’s reputation.
Taken to Mission Control HQ (styled on a Bond villain’s secret lair, naturally), you come face to face with Cristina Jonas, the no-nonsense head of the Mission and your trusted adviser throughout the module. Cristina sets out what you need to do in each game, and summarises the key learning points once you’ve completed each task.
Using your reason, knowledge, creativity, and critical-thinking skills you solve a series of data-related puzzles as the clock ticks down. Should you run out of time, further clues, hints, and – on occasion – comically withering comments from Cristina are unlocked. The effect is two-fold. Firstly, the time pressure adds a significant motivating driver. It helps learners to focus on the task and becomes a rich reward whenever you manage to beat the clock.
Secondly, by starting off in a room with a few seemingly unrelated items and no explicit instructions means learners of all abilities can enjoy a valuable experience. More advanced learners can get stuck into a genuinely satisfying challenge, while as bit by bit hints are revealed, less experienced players know that there’s help on the way before frustration has a chance to kick in.
The role of escape rooms in learning is a relatively new idea, albeit one that excites researchers. Effective learning is not a spectator sport – it requires learners to be active participants. Activities that require you to come off the sidelines and get hands-on are more likely to help you retain knowledge than just listening or reading alone.
As an introduction to a subject like data that’s too often misconstrued as dull or difficult to grasp, escape rooms are a brilliant medium to deliver learning content. Creating short, intense engagement can spark genuine interest in a subject that stays with learners long after the event.
With the right set of learning objectives underpinning the mystery and puzzles, how can escape rooms not be a winning formula for a great learning experience?
While meaningful gamification of learning content never values leader boards above making the core learning content impactful and engaging, Descape is designed to give points reflecting a learner’s speed and ability based on the number of hints they’ve used. While these scores are given primarily for the satisfaction of the individual learner, an invitation to share your results with colleagues across communication channels is extended in the final summary.
In a physical space, learners would have worked together as teams with collaboration and cooperation being a key component in the learning environment. Working alone online, the opportunities for social engagement are inevitably reduced, so giving opportunity for sharing your score opens up the opportunity for learners to touch base with colleagues and share their thoughts after the experience.
Why not have a go at our “Escape Room in a Blogpost” challenge? We created it following a workshop with escape room expert Dr Panagiotis Fotaris, from the University of Brighton to show you don’t need a physical space or even elaborate tech to create an escape room experience.
We’re always happy to talk to you about how immersive technologies can engage your employees and customers. If you have a learning objective in mind, or simply want to know more about emerging technologies like VR, AR, or AI, send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.