Co-designing an educational escape room: Integrating the knowledge and perspective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the design of an educational activity for healthcare students




co-design, escape room, eduction, cultural, healthcare


Introduction: Healthcare students undertaking placements in the Northern Territory come from many different universities. Having previously and successfully used an educational escape room to teach students about interprofessional practice and teamwork, we aimed to co-design a new escape room activity with a scenario that would support students on their cultural learning journey.

Methods: There were three stages involved in the development of the escape room session: 1) train Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to facilitate a consultative workshop, 2) design and deliver a consultative workshop that enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants to contribute to, and decide on, the new escape room scenario and learning objectives and 3) develop the complete educational activity, including props, session plan and evaluation. Each stage was evaluated by both participants and researchers to ensure that it aligned with the core ethical values of spirit and integrity, cultural continuity, equity, reciprocity, respect and responsibility. The final education session was trialled and reviewed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants providing feedback and ensuring the integrity of the co-design.

Outcomes and evaluation: Each of the project objectives were met, with the final educational escape room being offered to students undertaking a healthcare placement in Darwin.

Conclusion: The co-design process took significant time and effort but meant responsible and responsive engagement, which strengthened relationships, provided opportunities for skill development and produced an educational session that will continue to improve healthcare students’ understanding of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Author Biographies

Leigh Moore, Flinders University

Leigh Moore BPharm, GradDipHealthResearch, MPH, Cert IV TAE.

Lecturer Nursing and Allied Health

Remote and Rural Interprofessional Placement Learning (RIPPL NT)

Flinders Northern Territory

Narelle Campbell, Flinders University

PhD MEd BAppSc(SpPath)

Academic Lead Top End

FNT Lead Engagement and Social Accountability
Flinders Northern Territory

Maddy Bower, Flinders University

Indigenous Health Lecturer

Northern Territory Medical Program

Flinders University

Kylie Stothers, Indigenous Allied Health Australia

Director Workforce Development

Indigenous Allied Health Australia

Emma Kennedy, Flinders University

Assoc.Prof in Medical Education and Training

Flinders NT Medical Program


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How to Cite

Moore, L., Campbell, N., Bower, M., Stothers, K., & Kennedy, E. (2022). Co-designing an educational escape room: Integrating the knowledge and perspective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the design of an educational activity for healthcare students. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 23(3), 73–80.



Short Report