This thesis presents a review of educational-escape-room literature followed by a design-oriented framework (the Snyder Escape Room Framework or SERF) and demonstrates the potential efficacy of escape-rooms in cybersecurity education. Several authors have proposed frameworks and guidelines for game and educational design regarding escape rooms. This work coalesces some of those ideas into a more substantial and comprehensive framework (SERF) that designers can use when developing educational escape rooms. The Snyder Escape Room Framework provides heuristics for goals and objectives, players, activities, context, trajectory design, and evaluation. Additionally, this work describes and analyzes the novel prototyped BYU GCC escape room experience and delves into some of what was successful and what could be improved. The first sessions of the experience were observed and documented, and an expert review was performed. Participants did not gain much confidence in learning new technology; however, they did increase their confidence in using new technology through the experience. Participants did indeed learn from the experience, however, participants focused more on team-related concepts gained from the experience rather than the cybersecurity concepts introduced through the escape-room activities. Based on overwhelming positive responses, participants seemed to enjoy performing the experience. The BYU experience is evaluated against the Snyder Framework as an example of how to use the framework while designing or as a tool for evaluating. Using this framework systemizes and catalogues design choices and implications on the room and provides an informed approach for refinement. Applying the Snyder Escape Room Framework to the BYU experience provides further insight beyond just an expert review, and the BYU experience is a novel example to use with SERF. SERF gives a vocabulary and set of heuristics that help designers zero in on important design decisions. Using the framework provides a well-defined set of attributes for discussing the BYU experience and helps clarify what went well with the room and what could be improved upon. This is especially helpful when iterating on room design. The nature of Snyder Framework and this work is that it is multidisciplinary and touches a wide array of related fields and topics. Of note, are the implications of this work on educational games. The SERF can be used as a resource when designing similar experiences while the analysis of the BYU experience based on the SERF provides an example of how the framework can be used for evaluation and iteration.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


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snyder, escape room, design framework, cybersecurity, education, serf, gcc