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Project description. Students commence all university modules with a range of ability levels…however cyber law presents an additional problem as much of the law rests on how technology is applied.

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project description
Project description
  • Students commence all university modules with a range of ability levels…however cyber law presents an additional problem as much of the law rests on how technology is applied.
  • So the module has complete beginners to those who are well versed in how to interact with computers in a physical construction sense: (are able to build a computer from scratch) and in a “hacking” sense (can access other computers remotely).
project aims
Project aims
  • Bring students to a start point where they are familiar with the basics of computers and networks before commencement of the module.
  • Formal module spec bumpf: Enabling the students to operate in a consequence free environment so that they incrementally develop abilities that will not only enhance their student experience but also provide a skill set that they can demonstrate at interview and subsequently exhibit in the workplace.
  • Put simply: Make them easy to teach…
how is this achieved
How is this achieved?
  • Use a combination of real technology: i.e. a computer mock up that can be explored and digital representations of computers within app based learning on phones and tablets.
  • Tasks are set with increasingly challenging “levels” which are tied into social media by timed tweets and scheduled Facebook posts.
game based learning
Game based learning
  • Students can only progress once a level is completed.
  • Learning proceeds with the parts slowly building from “the basics” to the advanced cutting edge of the area. The stages will be incremental in difficulty with the later stages requiring group work for the task to be completed. This staged delivery can be facilitated by the use of a safe computer environment whereby the computer is set up to reflect a number different types of situations over time.
  • Reuse of old computers and monitors from the university alongside delivery through e-learning objects.
  • This re-use of computers and peripherals evidences “doing more with less” which is in line with the recent changes to the university sector as a whole.
  • JORUM is the HEA repository for open educational resources. This site contains rights cleared content that can be repurposed.
  • Content once delivered and updated will be deposited here.
what are the challenges the students are set
What are the challenges the students are set?
  • The challenges are problem based.
  • The installations will start from a fairly easy level i.e. the levels can be quickly progressed through if a student is motivated and/or capable in this area.
  • Each level has a very brief instruction e.g. for level 1: “Find and remove the file entitled: Blackmail_mvh.docx”.
examples of tasks level 1 1
Examples of tasks: LEVEL 1.1
  • Students try admin or a blank as a password. The student gains access and finds first “secret file” on desktop.
  • This initial hack leads the students to the case of Hacker Gary McKinnon and the Computer Misuse Act 1990. Students also learn about the importance of time logs and security cameras.
examples of tasks level 1 2
Examples of tasks: LEVEL 1.2
  • The students attempt to save or print or open the file, at this point an .exe code is enabled and a webcam takes a photo of the student/students in front of the computer and keeps it in a secure file. Ways round this could include the student placing a piece of black sticky tape in front of the camera, unplugging it or finding the file and deleting it (and emptying the recycle bin!)
examples of tasks level 2 3
Examples of tasks: LEVEL 2.3
  • In this level the login password is random, but the maintenance log is left at the computer site that reveals a weekly login. Students can address this problem in a variety of ways: The students can use a software keystroke logger or a physical one. The students will be sent an advert for a “company” (the teaching team) that will offer the use of a key stroke logger:
examples of tasks level 2 31
Examples of tasks: LEVEL 2.3
  • Key stroke loggers are explained (both physical and software based). How they are used in firms and the legality of reading employees emails at work is explained once the task is completed.
examples of tasks level 12
Examples of tasks: LEVEL 12
  • LEVEL 12 deals with phone hacking and the extraction of data from the raft of operating systems, this launches students into a dynamic, topical and contentious area. Once the information has been retrieved a question is set regarding release: “if you wanted to release this information how would you do it?” from here the public interest defence for whistle blowers, the recent legal struggle relating to Twitter and Parliamentary privilege can be discussed.
conclusions bad bits
Conclusions: Bad bits…
  • The reuse of “old” computers has been problematic. Slow boot up times can put students off especially when they are used to instant boot up from phones, laptops and tablets.
  • The changing technology can hamper students for example computer connectors have all changed. Students need to be familiar with the newest computers and networks to be able to fully engage with the law.
conclusions good bits
Conclusions: Good bits…
  • Materials are difficult to create but area easier to set up once the first few have been created. Once the materials are “student proof” and are suitable for all levels of student ability then they can be supplemented by staged Twitter and Facebook posts to remind students to engage with the materials.
  • JORUM deposit has begun.