Abstract: This paper reports on the design and implementation of a cybersecurity camp offered as a cybersecurity learning experience to a group of female and male high school students. Students ranged in grade level from freshmen to senior. Student demographics, including any existing pre-requisite knowledge, were unknown to camp designers prior to the start of the camp. Such unknowns presented five design constraints that required lateral solutions to address. Chiefly, a peer learning design was deployed that allowed participants to self-organize and autonomously explore learning within secure systems administration, network security, and cryptography. Furthermore, camp participants were provided with three objects to guide the peer learning objective: a booklet containing fundamental commands within the camp knowledge areas, a Xubuntu virtual machine as a digital playground, and a digital scavenger hunt game to reinforce acquired knowledge. Observational data indicate that peer learning was a successful pedagogy. Further, the results demonstrate compelling knowledge and behavioral flows amongst participants. Accordingly, this paper goes on to suggest a Community of Practice (CofP) as an organizational umbrella to support ongoing peer learning in the cybersecurity field. The paper also calls for future research to support the development of peer learning and CofP structures to support cybersecurity education.
Keywords: Cybersecurity, Education, instructional design, peer learning, Virtual Machine, community of practice
Download this article: ISEDJ - V14 N3 Page 4.pdf
Recommended Citation: Pittman, J. M., Pike, R. (2016). An Observational Study of Peer Learning for High School Students at a Cybersecurity Camp. Information Systems Education Journal, 14(3) pp 4-13. http://isedj.org/2016-14/ ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIG 2015)