CrashEd – A live immersive, learning experience embedding STEM subjects in a realistic, interactive crime scene

  • Marie L. Bassford De Montfort University
  • Annette Crisp
  • Angela O'Sullivan
  • Joanne Bacon
  • Mark Fowler
Keywords: animations, avatars, connectivism, higher education


Interactive experiences are rapidly becoming popular via the surge of ‘escape rooms’; part game and part theatre, the ‘escape’ experience is exploding globally, having gone from zero offered at the outset of 2010 to at least 2800 different experiences available worldwide today. CrashEd is an interactive learning experience that parallels many of the attractions of an escape room – it incorporates a staged, realistic ‘crime scene’ and invites participants to work together to gather forensic evidence and question a witness in order to solve a crime, all whilst competing against a ticking clock. An animation can enhance reality and engage with cognitive processes to help learning; in CrashEd, it is the last piece of the jigsaw that consolidates the students’ incremental acquisition of knowledge to tie together the pieces of evidence, identify a suspect and ultimately solve the crime. This article presents the background to CrashEd and an overview of how a timely placed animation at the end of an educational experience can enhance learning. The lessons learned, from delivering bespoke versions of the experience to different demographic groups, are discussed. The article will consider the successes and challenges raised by the collaborative project, future developments and potential wider implications of the development of CrashEd.

Keywords: animations; avatars; connectivism; higher education

(Published: 20 September 2016)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2016, 24: 30089 -


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Author Biography

Marie L. Bassford, De Montfort University
Principal Lecturer School of Engineering and TechnologyFaculty of Technology
How to Cite
Bassford M. L., Crisp A., O’Sullivan A., Bacon J., & Fowler M. (2016). CrashEd – A live immersive, learning experience embedding STEM subjects in a realistic, interactive crime scene. Research in Learning Technology, 24.
Original Research Articles