This study employed an escape room motif to engage students to use information literacy course material to solve puzzles. Students practiced research techniques in a classroom environment that bypassed their expectations of traditional course instruction. Instructor objectives were to increase student engagement with the course material, and to foster teamwork among students in a cooperative learning environment. Authors initially obtained 9 kits from Breakout EDU, a company specializing in immersive games. Games were devised for three of the course units, with each unit identifying 4-5 information literacy skills or concepts. The puzzles were focused on reinforcement of the key concepts. After each escape room class session, students completed a short survey. At the end of the semester students completed another survey about their experiences. Over 80% of students indicated the games helped them understand course concepts. Comparisons of final grades in the gamified courses with previous, non-gamified courses revealed that students achieved more A’s and fewer D’s and F’s in the gamified courses. Future directions for study include flipping game design to student groups, and further analysis of correlations between concepts learned through traditional teaching techniques and those learned in Breakout EDU classes.
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