The effect of an educational escape room on master student motivation towards research integrity.
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Research integrity (RI) is an important aspect of conducting research for (future) researchers, especially recognizing and dealing with unforeseen situations such as grey dilemmas. To increase master student motivation towards research integrity, an engaging educational tool was needed. An educational tool with potential, is the educational escape room (ER). Globally, educational escape rooms became increasingly popular. This study designed an educational escape room activity about research integrity. The design focuses mainly on motivational aspects, which are important to eventually empower master students. Several game-based learning and gamification elements are used in the design to generate engagement and motivation towards research integrity. The design was evaluated by running a pilot and three test groups, consisting of four people per group. Most participants thought the escape room was fun, engaging and challenging. Time pressure caused extra effort, but less elaborate discussions and the design context proved to be meaningful and recognizable to several participants. Opposite results showed a lack of direction inside the rooms, which caused frustration. Participants also felt distant towards group members because of the online setting. The results of the study suggest that the master students felt more engaged and motivated towards the completion of the escape room activity, but the escape room was not able to create an optimal environment where all the participants’ needs for intrinsic motivation were fully saturated. The rather positive results still confirm the potential that the educational escape room activity has to affect master student engagement and intrinsic motivation towards research integrity positively.