An escape game on cybersecurity to train in documentary research

Teachers and librarian of the Documentation Center (Library) have created an original teaching device for TEMA students. The students were immersed in an escape game about computer security in order to learn how to discern the best sources for their documentary watch and render them graphically.

The 1st year TEMA students in Reims receive an invitation to the library on October 10-11, 2019. They don't really know what this course, that has been scheduled on their timetable for a number of weeks, is about. After a short introduction by the Library teams, the students are invited to take a seat. This is where it all begins. The Scenario is presented to them: Elizabeth Johnson, a Neoma professor, needs help to stop a computer virus that is circulating on the Internet. In one hour, it will be too late. So, it is down to teams of students to solve a number of cyber security problems using the resources available in the library. A practical and true-to-life exercise designed by the Library teams.​


Library1 1"The basic idea was to replace the traditional introductory visit to the Library," explains Valérie Rostowsky and Aurélie Duval, the project initiators ."We came up with the idea for a fun teaching activity based on an Escape Game model. We worked on the concept with all the staff from the Rouen and Reims Libraries for several months. We benchmarked what was available on the market and thought over ideas for the scenario. Then we contacted the Digital Transformation Department and the Innovative Pedagogy Department​ teams. As soon as the idea was ready, we carried out a few test sessions with staff members and students before trying it out on an audience susceptible to innovation: TEMA students. During the presentation of the project, Anne-Laure HERARD, Head of the Programme who helped get in touch with Nathalie Fontaine, professor in the Department of People and Organizations."

An original teaching format

Library3In fact, one aspect of Nathalie FONTAINE's Document Control 4.0 course, involves students learning how to conduct detailed information research. "The objective of my course is to help students identify the best sources in their document research. The idea of the Escape Game aroused my interest because I think it can add something positive to the students' experience. The interest in gamification-based teaching is really growing and I was keen to be involved. In one sense, the biggest challenge was in not using the new ingredients to make a traditional-style course. That's how I thought of combining 100% digital e-learning modules with in-class courses. In this last phase, I wanted to introduce students to graphic simplification."

The pedagogical system ended with a face-to-face session, during which students had to carry out a documentary search on the basis of a problem, thus mobilizing all the achievements of their previous experiences.
The theme of cybersecurity remained at the heart of the device, and students were able to conduct research on the basis of questions such as:
  • ​Should French SMEs be discouraged from adopting the cloud to store their data?
  • Should the French be concerned about the health data they have on mobile apps?
  • Can we say that Facebook and cybersecurity are antinomic terms?
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Instead of presenting the results of their documentary research in a format that is too ordinary, the students were trained by our expert Eve GAMBIER, in the practice of graphic facilitation. The concept? ​Explaining a complex issue with a simple draw. Thus, each team presented the synthesis of its explorations in this new format. "Through the combination of innovative teaching and practical cases, group and individual work, I was able to assess the skills and knowledge acquired by each individual student. I am really satisfied with this first experience and I hope to repeat it later on in a different context!"

Experience and emotions in the service of learning

Student feedback has been very enthusiastic! "This Escape Game concept is a playful way to attract more student attention and concentration than a standard course," says Mathis Koralewski, TEMA First Year student. Faustine Jacquet, student in first year too, adds: "I found this course extremely interesting and rewarding. The Escape Game means we need to work in a team and find alternatives so that everyone needs to listen and takes an interest in everyone else's response. A fun concept that really appeals to the youngest among us and one that is increasingly being used by companies. Not to mention the graphic simplification aspect that holds the attention of the audience. I'm sure I'll find many ways to use this - for presenting a project, for example."​

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