COSAM News Articles 2020 March ‘Escape Room’ Project Elevates Student Learning at Auburn University

‘Escape Room’ Project Elevates Student Learning at Auburn University

Published: 03/03/2020

By: Maria Gebhardt

“In Supplemental Instruction, we believe that active and collaborative learning is key to students' understanding of academic content,” said Leizl Torres.

With a major in actuarial science, this student in the College of Sciences and Mathematics also works for Academic Support as a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader. 

Recently during a SI session, students had an opportunity to participate in an Escape Room Leizl designed to practice trigonometric identities.

“My escape room was structured so that students would have to use their knowledge of trigonometric identities in order to solve problems scattered around the room, solve puzzles, and collect clues that would aid them in their escape,” Torres explained.

The students had to find errors in proofs, recognize trigonometric identities presented in multiple-choice format and evaluate trigonometric expressions.

“The answers to these questions served as clues towards the actual code that students used to unlock the safe and ‘defuse the bomb’,” she added.

The students have one hour to figure out a four-digit code that would unlock a mobile phone and stop the countdown timer.

“I concluded my interactive session by providing students with a final problem, which I called their ‘Final Escape’ that served as an exit pass so that students could ‘escape’ from the room itself,” Torres shared.

The activity helps engage students, strengthen their mathematical foundation and develop soft skills. These represent core tenets of the SI model and also why Leizl is has been promoted to be a Peer Mentor for her colleagues in SI. 

“This interactive activity was a great way to have students work collaboratively, regardless of whether or not they were familiar with everyone in the room,” Torres said. “In the end, all of the students became really invested in the escape, and were much more comfortable with talking with one another, asking questions, and volunteering to work problems in front of the group.”


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