Developing and Piloting a Quantitative Assessment Tool for Cybersecurity Courses



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American Society for Engineering Education


The rapid growth of the Internet over the past two decades has led to a proliferation of network-capable computing devices. This growth has occurred so rapidly that the academic pipeline is struggling to keep up with the demand for cybersecurity professionals capable of protecting the expanding infrastructure. Training a security-focused workforce has become a critical objective of government entities, businesses, and academic institutions.

As educators respond to this growing demand, developing new curriculum and methodologies for training cybersecurity professionals, there has been little systematic effort to assess student outcomes from the variety of pedagogical approaches being used. This paper presents the second stage in our work to develop an assessment tool designed to measure student interest and self-efficacy in relation to cybersecurity.

Such a tool will allow educators to detect changes in student outcomes and thus systematically improve pedagogical methods. Initial instrument development is based on a qualitative study of students enrolled in an introductory cybersecurity course. We piloted the survey during the Spring and Fall 2014 semesters, and present the results here along with discussions of our ongoing and future activities with this project.