Escape Rooms in English for Specific Academic Purposes: A Learning Design for Transnational STEM Education

Escape Rooms in English for Specific Academic Purposes: A Learning Design for Transnational STEM Education

Peter Bannister
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6081-8.ch014
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This chapter explores the theoretical underpinnings, advantages, and potential limitations of employing a game-informed educational escape room in an online learning environment. Drawing on the wealth of literature published thus far on the virtues of such active methodologies for second language learning pedagogical contexts, the author explores its viability for a transnational education context. A Sino-British transnational education partnership was chosen as the didactic setting in which the proposal is grounded with a specific focus on a preparatory ESAP pre-sessional course prior to the commencement of the cohort's final and postgraduate year at the partner institution. The details of the learning design have been provided together with a final critical discussion that aims to inspire like-minded teaching practitioners to adapt and reflect on what has been written and experiment in their own classrooms.
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The promotion of learner autonomy on an intensive pre-sessional course in Higher Education is not only a ubiquitous component of EAP teaching practice, as established in the BALEAP Teacher Competency Framework for Teachers of English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP, 2016), but is also a key requirement for the future academic context of aspiring post-graduate Biomedical Sciences students as per the Subject Benchmark Statement penned by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, or QAA, (2015). Nevertheless, the high-stakes and logistically complex nature of such courses (Bruce, 2011), acerbated by the ‘quick-fix attitude’ held by some quarters together with arduous in-class time constraints (Ding & Campion, 2016, p. 556), oftentimes problematically implies that students are required to develop autonomous learning skills in isolation with little motivation and limited success (Borg & Alshumaimeri, 2017). To address this issue of clear concern, a technologically enhanced and L2 game-informed pedagogical learning design (Reinhardt & Sykes, 2014) has been crafted, the particulars of which, in conjunction with a probative outline of the underpinning methodological and L2 pedagogical theories and a final critical reflection, are broached in the following lines.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Augmented Reality: Use of technology to superpose computer-generated layers of reality on current surroundings.

Escape Room: A socially constructed virtual or physical space in which puzzles must be solved to leave.

Edutainment: Cross-section between education and entertainment, used pejoratively in literature at times.

English for Specific Academic Purposes: Discipline that furnishes students with the academic and linguistic skillset needed for study success with a focus on their chosen field of study.

Game-Informed Pedagogy: The application of game theory to pedagogical praxis.

Gamification: The application of certain ludic components to another field such as education.

Transnational Education: Tuition takes place from within a country which differs from that of the awarding institution.

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