Escape rooms, quizzes and bite size videos

Dr Jeffry Hogg, Training Fellow

Institute of Genetic Medicine

Medical Sciences

What did you do?

I used games, quizzes and videos to teach ophthalmology.

Who is involved?

Final year MBBS students. Other staff who supported this included Gordon Lau and Holly Duncan.

How do you do it?

I started by thinking of some games and quizzes that might work with my teaching. One of the quizzes I decided to try was the Million Pound Drop. I gave students information about a patient and they had to allocate a proportion of money to which diagnosis they thought was right. If they got it wrong they could lose all of their money. This got the students thinking about the likelihood of each diagnosis based on the information that they were presented with. They could split money across different options if they couldn’t rule a certain diagnosis out. This worked well and after some positive student feedback I tried out a different idea, moving to a version of an escape room designed to help students with their revision.

I set a room up with different challenges that students had to successfully complete before they could ‘escape’. When I was developing the room I based it on a student house party and one of the challenges involved beer pong where I used magnets to determine the positioning of plastic eyeballs in the cups. Students then had to work together to diagnose which nerve had been affected based on the positioning of the eyeballs. I was in the room at the time but was out of the way behind a curtain, working through some emails, so I didn’t influence them. The students worked in groups and it was encouraging to hear how they taught each other and worked together throughout the session.

To keep my teaching diverse I also decided to make a number of online videos based on skills needed for different exams. I kept these really short and focussed on practical skills as they seemed to be well received.

Why do you do it?

As the MBBS programme has such a busy syllabus we need to ensure efficiency when teaching ophthalmology. The escape room for the revision sessions was actually an optional session but over 80% of the cohort turned up. I don’t think the turnout would have been so high had it just been a standard revision session.

Incorporating games has the added bonus of making learning enjoyable and giving students the opportunity to work in teams.

The videos were also introduced with efficiency in mind. We felt that giving students access to short videos covering practical skills would be a useful resource that would enable them to cover a lot of information quite quickly.

Does it work?

Students really enjoyed all of the sessions and I could see first-hand that they were successfully learning key material. It was also really good to see students learning from their peers and helping each other out in order to escape. We asked for some student feedback after the escape room session and they said it didn’t feel like work. The majority also felt like they learned from their peers but no one felt like they had been teaching anyone. Hopefully this was due to the interactive nature of the session.

I was also really pleased to receive a nomination for a TEA award based on my teaching on this module. We have identified some really positive results following an evaluation we completed on the use of the videos. We found that test scores increased at a faster rate when students had access to the videos than when they didn’t. Learning using videos appeared to be a much more efficient way for students to learn the material we were presenting.

Contact Details

Dr Jeffry Hogg, Training Fellow,


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