How to Create an Educational Breakout During Class

An educational breakout uses game mechanics to produce motivation for learning in students. Find out more in the following article.
How to Create an Educational Breakout During Class

Last update: 07 September, 2021

An educational breakout, along with other gamification techniques such as escape rooms, emerged from the need to include game mechanics in the teaching-learning process. In this way, fun becomes part of education as a key element to promote learning.

This game has the ideal elements to promote students’ involvement and interest, which are essential in producing motivation for learning. The breakout turns students into protagonists through play, and at the same time, it becomes another educational methodology.

What’s an educational breakout?

As defined by César Poyatos, an educational breakout consist of an immersive and playful learning experience where students solve various challenges connected to the curriculum in order to obtain the secret codes that open a mysterious box.

Students working in groups.

Even if the goal is to include a breakout in the teaching-learning process as another methodology to develop the curriculum content, this type of experience can be used simply to improve group cohesion and motivation.

Steps to create an educational breakout during class

  1. Choose the theme of the breakout. You can find many ideas on the Internet. However, we recommend thinking of a theme that’ll appeal to your students. Find out their interests or simply come up with an interesting and attractive topic.
  2. Design the tests. Apart from linking tests to the curriculum and the competencies you want to work on with your students, it’s important that the tests be simple at first and gradually increase in difficulty. Furthermore, you should also prepare a series of clues in case the students need help.
  3. Think about the final treasure. After passing various tests and opening mystery boxes, students will have to find a treasure that you’ve prepared in advance. However, it’s also a good idea to hide a surprise as part of the experience.
  4. Make up a plot. Using the base theme, you should create a story that’ll captivate and motivate your students throughout the breakout.
  5. Prepare the materials. Once you’ve planned the different tests, get the boxes and locks that best suit the design of your breakout, as well as the rest of the materials you may need.
  6. Evaluation. Don’t forget that this is an educational experience. Therefore, you should use the breakout to evaluate students’ competencies, attitudes, skills, and knowledge.
  7. Reward your students. Finally, think of some sort of acknowledgement or reward for your students’ work. You can elaborate diplomas, badges, or simply take a picture of the moment with costumes matching the breakout theme.
Students participating in a breakout organized by their teacher.

What are the advantages for students?

Educational breakout experiences involve the active participation of students. This, in addition to fostering motivation, as we’ve mentioned above, facilitates the development of a series of skills such as problem solving and adaptability.

It’s also an activity that requires students to work in teams, which means that breakouts foster both social skills and group cohesion.

“By means of cooperative learning, students are going to relate to each other with a common goal: to successfully make it through the game.”

—César Poyatos—

In short, breakouts offer students unique experiences while learning. They also develop a series of fundamental skills for their future, all while having fun.

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  • Calvillo, A.J. (2018). Una infografía de ayuda para crear tus Escape Room / BreakOut / Gymkanas educativas. Comunicación y Pedagogía. Educación y Tecnología, coord. Calvillo, A.J.,  nº 307-308. España.
  • García, A. (2018). ¿Gamificación, Escape Room o BreakOut Edu?. Comunicación y Pedagogía. Educación y Tecnología, coord. Calvillo, A.J.,  nº 307-308. España.
  • Poyatos, C. (2018). Enigma, motivación y aprendizaje. Comunicación y Pedagogía. Educación y Tecnología, coord. Calvillo, A.J.,  nº 307-308. España.