Using a digital escape room to engage first year pre-registration nursing students in evidence-based practice learning: a case study

Pamela Donaghy, Chris Gillies, Niall McCann

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If health professionals are to deliver care which reflects the best evidence available, they need to develop an understanding of how to find, appraise and use research to inform their clinical practice.

A digital escape room activity was designed for a first-year undergraduate module, to develop nursing students’ skills in the first three stages of evidence-based practice: developing a question, searching and appraising the literature. The escape room was hosted on the university’s virtual learning environment.

The evaluation of the activity is based on the feedback from a digital survey used with three consecutive first year undergraduate cohorts (n = 83) and the staff involved in the design and delivery of the activity.

Over 99% of students found the activity fun, with over 90% declaring that it was more engaging and motivating than other group learning activities. Almost 90% of students were looking forward to completing another DER type activity.

The feedback indicates that both staff and students were motivated by the digital learning experience, with a positive impact on group engagement and students’ perception of learning.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalJournal of Learning Development in Higher Education
Issue number27
Early online date27 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2023


  • evidence-based practice
  • healthcare students
  • curriculum innovation
  • curriculum design
  • healthcare curriculum innovation

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