Struggling to get your students to pay attention in class?
Perhaps they’re lost in their screens, trading teamwork for technology…
If this sounds familiar and you’re seeking fresh learning alternatives, you’ll be intrigued to know that an interactive game platform in Malaysia has cracked the code to counteracting the threats of diminishing student engagement.
Transforming a dry Sejarah lesson into an exciting 45-minute game experience, Unriddle’s Syoknya Sejarah game cultivates a fun and interactive learning experience outside of the classroom.
Challenging students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills, each game has been specially crafted to suit a theme based on the Intergrated Curriculum for Secondary School (KBSM) for Sejarah.
To unravel the inner workings of this educational escape room initiative, Study International caught up with Aiman Jamilah Abdul Rahman, co-founder of Unriddle, to find out more about how this innovative game keeps students engaged and eager to learn.
SI: What’s the purpose of Unriddle and why did you choose to create it?
Aiman: The goal of Unriddle is to make learning fun.
My business partner and I decided to create it because we knew how boring school can be when we were growing up. When we interact with students nowadays, many still complain.
We have heard of many things teachers (especially those outside of Malaysia) have done to make their lessons more interesting, but we also know how busy teachers can be.
So with Unriddle, we wanted to help teachers make interesting and fun lessons without having to do much extra work. So it’s a win for the teachers, and a win for the students!
SI: On your website you state that each game is specially crafted to suit a theme based on the Integrated Curriculum for Secondary School (KBSM) for Sejarah, please could you explain this further?
Aiman: As mentioned previously, our aim is to make learning, especially at school, fun and interesting. Generally, school teachers adhere to the KBSM curriculum, so to help them with their lessons, we too use contents based on the curriculum and transform them into educational escape games.
Let’s say students are learning about Ancient Egypt, we too would create a game about Ancient Egypt. So the game isn’t just for fun – it reinforces what students have learned in the classroom.
SI: Why does the Unriddle experience best suit Form 4 and Form 5 students in Malaysia?
Aiman: A puzzle is good when it makes the player feel smart. With our educational escape room games, the puzzles require a certain level of thinking skills and tenacity for players to figure out the solutions on their own.
Based on our past experiences, Form 4 and Form 5 students are more likely to enjoy this process compared to younger players. Younger players are able to do it but with a little more guidance and encouragement, or more simplified puzzles.
SI: What has been your favourite aspect of Unriddle so far?
Aiman: My favourite aspect is conducting the game with the students. My usual storyline during briefing is that we are going on a time-travelling journey.
Many times, I would get some ‘oohhh’ or ‘whoa’. Sometimes they are sincere but sometimes they are cynical. It’s most pleasing when the cynical ones are the ones who really enjoyed the game at the end and it’s always refreshing to see the students with such awe and excitement.
SI: With 2,400+ participants so far, you must have witnessed many memorable moments! Please could you share an impressive student achievement with us or perhaps some feedback that a student or teacher shared with you…
As you may know, academic achievement is generally of utmost importance in the Malaysian education system. At most schools, students are sorted into classes based on academics, so usually you would have a spectrum from the ‘smartest class’ to the ‘least smart class’.
With our game, it doesn’t matter whether you are smart academically or otherwise; the key to winning is teamwork. One of the most impressive moments for me is when the fifth and sixth class (out of 10 classes playing) solved the entire game way faster than the top classes. Many of the other classes didn’t even manage to solve it!
This goes to show how even though the fifth and sixth class students may not be the ‘smartest’ of the bunch, camaraderie and collaboration are strong. I believe they are going to be just fine when they enter the working world!
So what makes the experience a success?
• As players enter the game area, they immediately see large dome tents, heightening their excitement.
• Next, as they enter one of the domes, they see various elements of history materialised from their Sejarah textbook.
• Throughout the game, suspenseful music is played through speakers to intensify the anticipation and excitement.
• Since the game is held in dome tents, it gets students out of the classroom environment and into a new setting.
• As various historical elements have been recreated, players are able to touch and feel the objects at hand. These things must be used to solve the puzzles so a certain extent of physical activity is involved.
Alternatively, if you’re ready to get started, you’re based in Malaysia and you’d like the team to visit your school, contact them on +6017 609 2469.
With experienced game masters, uplifting academic activities and guaranteed student engagement, challenge your students to see if they can crack the riddle.