Using Escape Rooms to Develop Digital Competencies of Natural Science Preservice Teachers


Digital literacy is one of the basic teacher competencies stipulated by the Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (DBE, 2015). Regardless of the centrality of digital competencies in South African Policy documents, the Department of Basic Education has conceded that technology-enhanced learning has not advanced in South Africa as predicted (Padayachee, 2017), with one reason being that there was a disparity between government expectations and the practices of teachers (Mooketsi & Chigona, 2014) concerning technology integration in classrooms. Teacher training institutions are responsible for capacitating preservice teachers with the necessary competencies to increase technology-enhanced learning with the aim of improving educational outcomes for learners. This study reports on the use of computer-supported collaborative learning in developing the digital competencies of third-year preservice teachers in a Natural science module. Students were supported to conceptualise and create virtual escape rooms in groups as their capstone project, using a blend of physical and virtual teaching, learning, and assessment activities. Drawing on data from students produced as part of the teaching and learning for this module, students reported that the assessment for learning activities supported their understanding of the task and increased their confidence to complete the capstone assessment. In addition, students experienced the escape rooms as significant learning (Fink, 2013). This study thus shows that when teacher-educators employ a taxonomy of significant learning in assessment practices, it can improve student learning towards developing digital competencies of preservice teachers.


Anthea H M Jacobs
Academic Developer, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Stellenbosch University, Western Cape, South Africa

Delecia Davids
Lecturer, Department Curriculum Studies, Stellenbosch University, Western Cape, South Africa


Presentation Type

Poster Session


Learning in Higher Education


Digital Escape Rooms, Game-based learning, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

Digital Media


Using Escape Rooms To Develop Digital Competencies Of Natural Science Preservice Teachers (Embed)