Adaptability and Procedural Content Generation for Educational Escape Rooms




Learning, Educational Escape Room, Narrative, Level Design, Adaptability, Procedural Content Generation


We present a literature review that aims to understand the role of the Educational Escape Room (EER) in improving the teaching, learning, and assessment processes through an EER design framework. The main subject is to identify the recent interventions in this field in the last five years. Our study focuses on understanding how it is possible to create an EER available to all students, namely visually challenged users. As a result of the implementation of new learning strategies that promote autonomous learning, a concern arose in adapting educational activities to each student’s individual needs. To study the adaptability of each EER, we found the EER design framework essential to increase the student experience by promoting the consolidation of knowledge through narrative and level design. The results of our study show evidence of progress in students’ performance while playing an EER, revealing that students' learning can be effective. Research on Procedural Content Generation (PCG) highlighted how important it is to implement adaptability in future studies of EERs. However, we found some limitations regarding the process of evaluating learning through the EERs, showing how important it is to study and implement learning analytics in future studies in this field.

Author Biographies


Researcher Grant Holder on immersive learning, at HumanISE Center in INESC TEC.
Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Porto in the Digital Media Doctoral Program, a joint program between the University of Porto and The New University of Lisbon -, with a current average mark of 17 out of 20, in the Technology specialty by the University of Porto (2020). She’s doing her research about Immersive Educational Escape Rooms as a researcher at INESC TEC’s Center for Human-Centered Computing and Information Science (HumanISE). Currently, she is also an IT trainer, at Associação Nacional de Professores, as an accredited trainer in B115 – Technology and Educational Communication, teaching “Presentation and creation of digital educational games: LearningApps and Wordwall”, “Presentation and digital content creation with the CANVA application: posters, presentations, e-books and catalogs”, and “Creating spoken presentations and video with the Canva application”. In the last two years, she worked at Multicompetências as Director of the Programming and Multimedia Department as Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Digital Marketing, and Head of Learning and Development. As Head of Learning and Development, she has improved the online courses, namely courses in moodle with the migration of data from forinsia (an online training software to training schools). In February 2021 she has finished her Training Manager course at Cognos Formação e Desenvolvimento Pessoal. Recently, she has done some certifications in: Education (at FEUP and other certified training schools, Porto), in Learning from Users (Fraunhofer, Porto), and MOCs certification as Web Developer (Rumos, Porto). She has finished her Master in Multimedia – Technologies with the final classification of 15 out of 20 by the University of Porto (2013). Her professional activity began as a receptionist (2002-2007) at the Serralves Foundation (Porto), where she did a stage at the Museum Direction (2006). Later, she started her activity as a teacher and trainer, teaching “IT Communication” and “Computer Applications” (2008-2012; 2018). In September 2016, she finished her main professional internship at Primavera BSS, where she has done some projects in Multimedia, Web, and Mobile Development for Primavera Academy (Braga). Then she also developed some Web projects as self-employed and for FTP – Comércio e Equipamento Informático, LDA.

António Coelho, FEUP/INESC TEC

António Coelho is an Associate Professor with Habilitation at the Department of Informatics Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering (FEUP), University of Porto (UP), where he teaches Computer Graphics, Programming, and Digital Games. He is also a senior researcher of INESC TEC where he coordinates the Computer Graphics and Virtual Environments area.

Manuel Firmino Torres, FEUP/INESC TEC

Manuel Firmino Torres graduated in Psychology, and PhD in Educational Sciences about Pedagogical Work Modes and Learning Assessment in Higher Education, at the University of Porto (UP). Professor since the 80s currently is a Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the UP, and an integrated member of INESC TEC as a researcher at HumanISE.

Ana Rita Garcia, FEUP

Ana Rita Garcia is a student in Master in Multimedia at the University of Porto. She's doing her research on Narrative and Level Design.

Tiago Rossini, FEUP

Tiago Rossini is a student in Master in Multimedia at the University of Porto. He is doing his research about Procedural Content Generation.