Building a virtual nursing escape room is an excellent tool to implement active teaching strategies in nursing education.

Are you looking for a clear plan to implement a digital escape room specific to your content?

I remember preparing for my first theory course as a nursing instructor. I had well-thought-out PowerPoint slides and almost a word-for-word script to cover my first section of content on fluid and electrolytes. I was ready, and I knew that my organized tables and interesting images would help my students do amazing on their first exam.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. My students were bored. I was sharing my slides, but they still had that glazed-over look in their eyes. I knew that something had to change.

Virtual nursing escape rooms can create an active learning classroom.

So I began researching active learning strategies in nursing education and slowly began to change over my classroom – away from instructor-led to student-focused.

When I decided to build an escape room, I started where any good nurse educator would go: current research. I researched nurse escape room ideas, but most of the content was focused on the K12 learning environment. So I started putting together a library of puzzle ideas around nursing topics, such as prioritization, vocabulary words, and math equations.

What I created was a blended in-person and virtual nursing escape room. The learning activity was held in our simulation lab. The information is all presented through Google Forms, and it is easy to build digital escape rooms using this tool. There are also puzzles involving locks and keys, provider order forms, black lights, and puzzle pieces.

Simple format to build a digital escape room

In the Google Forms Tutorial, I share how to create your own virtual nursing escape room specific to your nursing content.

  • Decide on the learning topics that you want students to master
  • Choose a storyline
  • Use a mix of the 7 different “locks” outlined in the video
  • Share with your students and watch your classroom come to life

It can feel overwhelming to start a digital escape room from scratch. So, along with the video, there is a template for the exact Google Form that I use in the tutorial so you can get started creating your own right away!

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    To wrap up, a digital escape room is a great way to add interactive content to your classroom. There are alternatives to lecture and you can create a flipped classroom one lesson at a time 🙂

    Did you know we have a community?

    Head over to the ACTIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES FOR NURSE EDUCATORS Facebook group for more ideas and inspiration!

    Martha Johnson is the charge nurse over at BreakoutRN

    Martha Johnson MSN, RN, CEN

    Charge nurse over at BreakoutRN with a focus on helping other nursing educators transition from lecture to active learning.  She believes it does not have to be hard or overwhelming, just take it one activity at a time 💜

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