Escaping the Assessment Maze: Navigating Policies through an Interactive Fictitious Experience




Game-based learning, ludic pedagogy, faculty development, escape room, cooperative learning


Misinterpretation or ignorance of institutional policies in higher education can lead to inconsistencies and legal risks, particularly concerning assessments. In response, we introduced an innovative approach to engage faculty and administrative staff in understanding the institution's policies related to assessments. We implemented a Ludic pedagogical strategy by transforming assessment-related policies into an interactive escape-room challenge. This themed workshop applied adult-learning theory, was developed based on recommended escape-room guidelines, and immersed staff in multiple policy documents, encouraging cognitive, behavioural, affective, and sociocultural engagement. Assessment policies were integrated into a fictitious narrative with puzzles to promote self-directed (heutagogy) and cooperative learning. The escape-room challenge was conceptualised as a single intrinsic case study that used postcards written by participants as data after successfully 'escaping' the room. These postcards served as reflective tools containing participants’ insights regarding the experience. Thematic analysis was conducted on the postcards, supported by visual data. The workshop yielded a central theme of 'A Whole-Body Human Experience,' reflecting cognitive, affective, and behavioural engagement. The escape room harnessed the interactive nature of games to ensure teamwork, motivation, communication, and problem-solving skills. The workshop, rooted in adult learning principles and designed according to accepted guidelines, effectively engaged participants in learning about assessment policies through an immersive escape-room experience. The diverse expressions of newfound knowledge, emotional engagement, and intentions to alter practices and processes confirm escape rooms as a suitable strategy for faculty development.


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Author Biographies

JC Lubbe, Central European University, Vienna Austria

Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning and Higher Education Research, Senior Lecturer

Astrid Turner, University of Pretoria

School of Health Systems and Public Health, Senior lecturer

Mari van Wyk, University of Pretoria

Directorate Comprehensive Online Education Services,

Senior Learning Designer




How to Cite

Lubbe, J., Wolvaardt, J. E., Turner, A., & van Wyk, M. (2024). Escaping the Assessment Maze: Navigating Policies through an Interactive Fictitious Experience . Advancing Scholarship and Research in Higher Education, 5(1).



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