Studying methodologies for practical IT security teaching

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Supervisor:
Dr. Félegyházi Márk
Department of Networked Systems and Services

Both IT security and information technology in general require widespread knowledge. Students often don’t even know where to start learning it. Education in information technology is the most effective when the theory is coupled with sufficient practice. Theory can be truly learned through practice.

In this thesis I examined methodologies aiding practical IT security education. At first I became familiar with different education models, the major steps of developing teaching and learning processes and the components of successful learning.

Based on what I read I designed an educational methodology experiment that compared traditional classroom education with computer aided education in terms of efficiency. As a basis for this comparison I created a measurement procedure to determine the effectiveness of these methodologies.

I performed the experiment within the confines of an IT security themed subject. An experimental and a control group was formed, each studying with a different methodology throughout the semester. In my thesis I developed several exercises supporting the experiment, some of which I integrated into the avatao web-based education platform.

I analyzed the results of the students’ tests and their feedback and drew the appropriate conclusions about the success of the experiment. The observations and results appear to be showing a promising future for practice-centered IT security education. The group that used the avatao web-based education platform was on average 12,3% more successful in measuring exercises than the other group.

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