Visible to the public SaTC-EDU: EAGER: Peer Instruction for Cybersecurity EducationConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Lead PI

Performance Period

Nov 11, 2018 - May 31, 2019


Virginia Commonwealth University

Award Number

Engineering a secure IT system, in addition to technical skills, requires a particular mindset focused on using cybersecurity solutions effectively against sophisticated and stealthy cyber attacks. The traditional lecture-centric style of teaching has failed to deliver that mindset, which is the direct result of an over-emphasis on specific technical skills (with limited lifespan and insufficient technical depth), abstract rather than deeply technical examination of fundamental concepts, and an impatience in developing broader analytical skills. The vast majority of cybersecurity failures are the result of poor understanding of the security landscape and an inability to adapt to new threats.

Peer instruction may be a solution to this challenge. This project evaluates the effectiveness of peer instruction methodology for cybersecurity education, and develops the peer instruction material for three cybersecurity courses offering an introduction to security concepts, a defensive view of cybersecurity, and an offensive view of cybersecurity. The two primary mechanisms are used for measuring impact of peer instruction, which are pre- and post-testing, and isomorphic questions.

Continuation of Award #: 1500101

I am a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). My research group is the Security and Forensics Engineering (SAFE) Lab. I am also a faculty fellow of VCU Cybersecurity Center. Before VCU, I was a Canizaro-Livingston Endowed Assistant Professor in Cybersecurity at the University of New Orleans (UNO), New Orleans, LA.

My research interests are broadly in the area of cybersecurity, currently focusing on digital forensics, malware, cyber-physical systems, and cybersecurity education.

I am a recipient of the ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, an Outstanding Research Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and the UNO's Early Career Research Prize.

My research work has been supported in part by the NSF, NSA, ONR, ARO, ORAU, and VA CCI, and has received three Best Paper Awards at DFRWS'20, ISC'13, and ICRC'11, and an Outstanding Poster Award at CODASPY'16.