Future Teachers Seek to Avoid Climate Emergency With a Virtual Escape Room: Can a Virtual Escape Room Generate Positive Emotions in Students?

Future Teachers Seek to Avoid Climate Emergency With a Virtual Escape Room: Can a Virtual Escape Room Generate Positive Emotions in Students?

Patricia de Paz Lugo, Carmen Romero García, Natalia Serrano Amarilla
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6081-8.ch003
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Students often show negative attitudes and emotions towards the study of science. It is important to design learning situations that achieve positive emotions among students, since it has been shown that these favour the learning process. The aim of this study was to implement a virtual escape room in the subject of Knowledge of Natural Sciences in the Degree of Primary Education at the Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR) in an entirely online environment and to analyse the self-perceived emotions of the students and the degree of satisfaction with the learning experience. The results show that the experience has a positive impact on learning, the emotions experienced, and the satisfaction of the students. It is concluded that virtual escape rooms are presented as a way of approaching learning through different creative challenges, which allow for the creation of a positive emotional environment in which the teaching and learning process is more attractive.
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The approach to science has as a drawback the great demotivation it generates in students, which comes from the use of complex scientific language and the abundance of abstract concepts (Yllana-Prieto et al., 2021). The use of a student-centered methodology, such as gamification, can offer a positive stimulus that motivates and therefore promotes meaningful learning in science (Klisch et al., 2012).

As part of their training, students of the Primary Education Degree must achieve sufficient scientific literacy in order to reach their teaching competence. For this reason, the subject of Knowledge of Natural Sciences is part of their curriculum. Teachers in training present low perceived self-efficacy in science teaching (they see themselves as poorly qualified to teach science) (Brígido and Borrachero, 2011). As students at an online university, such as UNIR (Universidad Internacional de La Rioja), they face the risk of feeling isolated and even unmotivated (Jeong et al., 2019). In addition, students are not obliged to attend classes since they can visualize the lectures online on deferred. Their participation as active subjects is therefore not ensured, which is one of the great problems of online education (Parra-González and Segura-Robles, 2019). This hinders the development of interpersonal skills (collaboration, communication, etc.), but also skills related to the scientific field, such as reasoning, argumentation, issuing hypotheses, critical thinking, information search, decision making, research, problem-solving, etc. (Pedrinaci et al., 2012). Likewise, the opportunity to teach science in a useful, meaningful, and contextualized way within the daily life of the student is lost. That is why, in the present work, an educational escape room has been designed and implemented in a virtual classroom, as a gamified strategy, on Ecology and the environmental consequences of human activity, with the objectives of:

  • 1.

    To know the self-perceived emotions of the students, as well as their degree of satisfaction with the learning experience.

  • 2.

    To assess the students' perception of the effect of the escape room on learning through variables such as motivation, creativity and critical thinking.

  • 3.

    To raise awareness of human involvement in environmental pollution.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Interpersonal Skills: Skills that enable us to establish positive relationships with others.

Emotions: Psychological and physiological reactions produced in response to a stimulus.

Climate Change: A change in the temperature and weather patterns of planet Earth caused by an increase in the greenhouse effect.

Motivation: A state that initiates or maintains a person's behavior toward the achievement of a particular goal or end.

STEAM: Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

Greenhouse Gases: Gases that absorb and emit infrared radiation and contribute to the greenhouse effect. The main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, nitrous oxide and ozone.

Greenhouse Effect: A natural phenomenon that helps maintain a temperature suitable for life on Earth. The problem is that this effect is increasing due to the increase in the production of greenhouse gases by human action.

Critical Thinking: Ability to question statements that are often taken as true.

Carbon Footprint: Volume of greenhouse gases produced by human activity.

Satisfaction: A feeling of well-being felt when a purpose has been achieved, or a need has been met.

Universidad Internacional de La Rioja: Private Spanish distance learning university.

Creativity: Ability to create new ideas or original solutions.

Sixth Mass Extinction: Process of species extinction in which we find ourselves today due to human action.

Microplastics: Particles smaller than 5 mm in size resulting from the degradation of plastic waste.

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