From the World of Practice

Digital Escape Rooms - or How Learners Allow Themselves to Be "Enchained" Voluntarily

Raphaela GassmannMunich/Karlsruhe, May 2024 - How can learners become fully involved in an eLearning context? Video games show the way: Through immersive experiences, they captivate players and allow them to immerse themselves in topics and content. Digital escape rooms offer such a learning solution with an immersive learning experience. Raphaela Gassmann from Fischer, Knoblauch & Co will present the practical example of the Miele Escape Room in her presentation Digital Escape Rooms - or How Learners Allow Themselves to Be "Enchained" Voluntarily.

What learning content can be conveyed particularly well via a digital escape room?

Raphaela Gassmann: There are no limits. The only important thing is to combine the learning content with a suitable setting. Digital escape rooms are primarily practice-oriented, immersive learning solutions. They are therefore particularly well suited to conveying content as interactively and practically as possible - and simply allowing learners to try things out.


Which scenarios are suitable for this and which are rather unsuitable?

Raphaela Gassmann: I would say that there is no scenario or topic that is fundamentally unsuitable. It all comes down to creativity. In addition to didactic knowhow, creativity is the be-all and end-all when it comes to developing a suitable and individually tailored scenario. And this is also something I particularly enjoy about my work.

I love being inspired and developing an exciting story - or a game-based scenario from perhaps somewhat drier topics - in which learners can immerse themselves, engage intensively with the learning topics, and take away real added learning value.


Do you see the Digital Escape Room as a consistent further development of storytelling, gamification, and VR approaches, or is the learning experience unaffected by this?

Raphaela Gassmann: You have to take a closer look at the digital escape room as a learning medium. Basically, the digital escape room is an immersive learning experience with a higher degree of immersion, especially compared to more traditional online training.

Storytelling, VR and game-based components are elements that can be used to create immersion, among other things. The digital escape room combines some of these elements, such as storytelling or target-group-oriented game play, to create the highest possible degree of immersion and thus make the learning experience even more effective.


Are digital escape rooms aimed specifically or primarily at Generation Z employees, or is this form of knowledge transfer suitable for all age groups?

Raphaela Gassmann: Digital escape rooms and story- and game-based learning formats are suitable for all age groups. There are statistics from 2023 from the German Games Industry Association that show just how diverse gamers in Germany are. A full 58% of 6-to-69-year-olds play video games, and the average age is now 37.9 years.

This in turn shows us that story- and game-based learning formats are not fundamentally tied to one age group. Rather, it depends on the individual learning types. Of course, there are learners who want to acquire learning content as quickly and linearly as possible - or simply do not have the time available for intricate games. On the other hand, there are learners who like to engage with content in an interactive and explorative way and appreciate the advantages of a playful, immersive format.

What experience have you already gained with this at Fischer, Knoblauch & Co? What has the feedback been like?

Raphaela Gassmann: Since the launch of our first escape room - the Miele Escape Room, which we will be taking a closer look at together in my presentation at the LEARNTEC Congress - customer interest in playful and immersive learning applications has been increasing constantly.

In general, we have received very positive feedback. Some learners would like to use other playful learning formats - and there are others who don't want to leave the escape room at all!

I'm particularly pleased about this personally, as I was able to incorporate my passion for gaming into the design of the first digital escape room and successfully harness it for learning.


Is the cost frame for this type of training comparable to the creation of other training measures?

Raphaela Gassmann: Of course it depends very much on the project. Digital escape rooms can be somewhat simpler, but they can also be as complex as the designer wants. It depends on various factors, for example, the complexity of the interactions or the room design. Is a custom-designed 3D room necessary or is stock material adequate? Hence pricing is only possible when the specifics of the project have been stipulated. As a rough guide, however, we can assume them to approximate a high-end web-based training course.