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Strengths-Based Leadership and Escape Room Activity

Level of activity: Beginner to Intermediate

Setting: Classroom


ACPE Standards 2016: 3.1, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2

EPAs: Self-Developer Domain (Continuous professional development)

Instructors can request access to the Instructor's Guide on AccessPharmacy. Email Customer Success ( for more information.


Chelsea M. Baker, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, is Associate Director of Professional Program Laboratories and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Purdue University College of Pharmacy. Dr. Baker received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Purdue University College of Pharmacy. She completed a post-graduate health-system pharmacy administration residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received her MBA in Medical Services Management from Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business. She is a Board-Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and her clinical practice site is the Purdue University Center for Healthy Living, where she provides medication management services to Purdue University employees and their dependents. Dr. Baker serves as a preceptor for Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience students in an ambulatory care setting, the course coordinator for the P2 Professional Program Laboratory, and as an instructor in core and elective courses throughout the PharmD curriculum.

Brief Overview and Setting

Leadership development is emphasized as a key area in the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) 2016 Accreditation Standards for the Doctor of Pharmacy Professional Program.1 Institutions may consider using serious games, or game play with defined learning outcomes, to reinforce leadership concepts. Escape rooms are an example of a serious game and typically consist of scenarios where teams work together to solve a series of puzzles in a time-limited setting. Escape room games may help evaluate the ability of teams to work toward a common goal and provide an opportunity for both individual and team-focused reflection of learning.

The purpose of this activity is to allow students to self-assess their unique top five CliftonStrengths Signature Themes from Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 Assessment and apply what they have learned in a team-based escape room activity.2,3

In the escape room activity, students must work together and use their strengths to complete the puzzles before the time limit. Afterwards, the teams reflect on the successes and challenges they faced working as a team and relate this to their individual and collective team strengths as well as blind spots. The escape room and accompanying class reflections are designed to heighten a student’s self-awareness of their own leadership skills and how those interact with and complement others when working in a team to accomplish a common goal.4,5

This activity takes place in the Professional Program Laboratory at Purdue University College of Pharmacy with 150 students in their first year of the 4-year pharmacy program. Students are divided into five lab sections of approximately ...

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