The Breakout in Final Examination

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Abstract

The breakout, an innovative game to solve challenges in a limited time by unlocking a box or a digital padlock, has recently grown in popularity. This study aimed at analyzing preservice teachers’ impressions toward the breakout as a final examination in an online modality in the Primary Education Degree at the University of Málaga (Spain). A total of ninety-six undergraduate students (English-medium instruction, or EMI, group = 51, non-EMI = 45) from a subject related to Foreign Language Didactics participated in the experience and were administered a semi-structured survey. The analysis methodology combined descriptive analysis with SPSS (v.23) and qualitative analysis through manual response categorization, and the use of Atlas.ti. The results showed that the best aspects of the experience for the EMI group was collaborative work and, for the non-EMI group, the game itself, as well as the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) resources, and the variety of activities. Curiously, the worst aspect for non-EMI was some specific activities, while EMI found difficult their communication and the time to perform the breakout. This might have been due to the effort of using the foreign language to understand the challenges and interact with their mates, which led us to conclude that they might require more practice in which the foreign language is spontaneously employed in debates and problem-solving activities.