Using an Escape Room activity to Enhance the Motivation of Undergraduate Life Science Students in Mathematics Classes - A Case Study


  • Sónia Pais Polytechnic of Leiria
  • Ana Elisa Sousa Polytechnic of Leiria
  • Ana Pires



Higher Education, Educational Escape Rooms, Mathematics Education, Game-Based Learning, Active Learning, Problem Solving, Soft Skills


Mathematics is one of the school subjects where demotivation, dislike and failure are frequent concerns. To address this, it is important to actively engage students in the classroom and employ resources that make math classes more appealing and captivating, leading to meaningful learning experiences.

Active, cooperative, and participative learning methods should be prioritized over traditional didactic teaching and the mere transmission of knowledge. Active learning methods offer alternative approaches to the conventional lecture format, actively involving students in the learning process. The concept of an escape room, a gaming experience where participants must solve challenges to escape from a locked room, has gained popularity in educational contexts. The educational escape room is an extension of this concept, aiming to promote real-time problem-solving, teamwork, and discovery of clues and mysteries to facilitate active learning. By engaging in various tasks within a room, students work together in teams, fostering an active learning environment. The educational escape room offers several benefits, including the enhancement of problem-solving skills, student performance, and motivation. By incorporating gamification strategies into teaching and learning processes, this approach proves to be an effective way of promoting active learning in mathematics.

In this paper, we present a case study that explores the use of an educational escape room with first-year undergraduate students from a Portuguese higher education institution, with the goal of improving their mathematical problem-solving skills. The study aims to evaluate how escape rooms can contribute to increased student motivation.

To assess the perception of students regarding this escape room methodology, a quantitative survey was conducted. The findings indicate that using the escape room as an educational approach effectively increased student interest and improved learning outcomes in mathematics.