In this study, a teaching approach involving a digital escape room (DER) was introduced into science teaching for fourth-graders in elementary school to investigate the effect of this method on students’ learning performance, learning motivation, and problem-solving ability. Based on a quasi-experimental approach, four research tools were applied with 40 students: Science Learning Performance, the Learning Motivation Scale (LMS), the Test of Problem Solving (TPS), and a feedback form. The students were split into an experimental group and a comparison group, with 20 students in each group. The experimental group received the experimental teaching for a 10-week period, during which seven DERs were infused into the science teaching activities, while the comparison group's classes used direct teaching methods. In each class infused with DER activity, the students used tablets to receive and complete tasks by using props, riddles, clues, crossword games, and puzzle challenges within a 25-min window according to the teacher's instructions. The data were analyzed with ANCOVA. The results showed that the students in the experimental group had higher learning motivation and problem-solving ability scores than those in the comparison group. However, the two groups had the same learning performance levels in science class. In general, the students had positive perceptions of the DER experience, and they believed the DER teaching strategy was compelling and effective. Finally, suggestions based on this research study's results are offered with the hope of providing references for teaching practice and future research.
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