The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

The Center for Education and Research in
Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

Building an Electronic Voting Technology Inspired Interactive Teaching and Learning Framework for Cybersecurity Education

Principal Investigator: Xukai Zou

Elections are the cornerstone of democratic societies, and key to their success is citizens who vote. Voting has a unique set of security and integrity requirements. The uniqueness and ubiquity of elections and the widespread use of e-voting systems emphasize the special role that e-voting technology can play in academic cybersecurity education in both college and high school.  E-voting technology involves many specific and even conflicting requirements, has rich features, and covers a large knowledge base of cryptography, system security, and network security. These make it ideal as a basis for security curriculum development. Moreover, e-voting systems involve voters’ active participation and interaction, rendering them even more suited for an interactive student learning process.

The goal of this project is to develop composable educational units, called “blocks,” that can be combined in various ways. Each block, or set of blocks, covers a particular topic in such a way that the blocks build upon one another. Thus, they can be used in non-security courses to teach (for example) network or software security, or to build a computer security course. Such a course may be general, covering many aspects of security using the first few blocks from each area, or a specialized course using blocks from one particular area such as software security. Interactive blocks entice and enable students to fully engage in the entire learning process and more efficiently learn to master cybersecurity knowledge and skills. Collectively, the proposed framework will effectively improve student learning outcomes.