Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 5184-5191
ISBN: 978-84-09-37758-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2022.1352
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Escape Room (ER hereafter) activities have become a rather popular innovative active teaching methodology in the recent years. This paper presents one of such experiences in the context of an auditing course, and provides some light on the advantages and disadvantages of using such method in higher education. The ER was designed by a team of faculty, developed and run by a company with professional experience in ER, and was financially supported by ‘Auditores’, the professional association of auditors in Madrid, Spain.

A total of 43 students from 5 Madrid state-owned universities participated in 6-student teams with a mix of degrees, levels (years), and ER prior experience. The ER took place at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, in a room specially prepared by the professionals. All teams entered the ER and run the game exhibiting a high level of competitiveness, although not all teams completed the activity within the given time.

Results from a survey revealed that the ER was well designed and run (average score above 3,8 in a 1-5 Likert scale), helped them understand what auditing is and how auditors work (3,6), it increased their interest in accounting and auditing (3,9). The ER methodology improves learning (4,1) and students encourage to do more similar activities (4,6). Although not formally tested, the ER developed soft skills such as team work, communication. Finally, it raised awareness of auditing as a professional career.

Several outcomes were identified in the process. As in previous studies, ER may increase the interest of students in the topic, what may increase learning and academic outcomes (not measured in the experience). The contextualization of the activity determines the design of the ER. For instance, while time restrictions and small vs large groups play a significant role in the design and usage of ER. However, ER may be adapted to any content regardless of area or level, it may be used for formative or assessment purposes, and finally, it may be run at any point of time of a course. As a drawback, preparation time and economic resources are important issues to consider in the implementation of an ER. The paper includes some suggestions to overcome these limitations for a successful ER.
Escape room, auditing, accounting, active methods, motivation, learning.