SAVE THE DATE Tapia 2018 Orlando, FL September 19-22, 2018

2017 Tapia Conference

Implementation of Active Learning Techniques in an Online Information Security Graduate Laboratory Course


Presenter: Carlos Velez (Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico)
Co-author: Alfredo Cruz (Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico)


Hands-on online courses are being integrated as part of Information Security departmental curriculum. The courses are implemented using blended learning approaches, virtual environments, and most recently Docker containers. This research focuses on the implementation of a virtual environment combined with modified “active learning” techniques. To do this, a laboratory course will be integrated into the Principle of Information Security course with a total of six laboratories designed within a virtual environment. As a complement, an online blog will be designed to serve as an active learning technique for students to create a topic related to each laboratory. The intention is to create a virtual environment that consists of a network of several virtual machines with known vulnerabilities. A main Windows server with Hyper-V services will accommodate the environment. At the end of each laboratory, the student will be given an online assessment that will provide metrics, the instructor will have online real-time reports, and the student will get feedback on where to look in the book for further input on any failed questions. The labs will focus on: basic commands, footprinting and reconnaissance, scanning and enumeration, cryptanalysis, password cracking and network vulnerabilities. With this integration, it is expected that the combination of a virtual environment and active learning positively impacts student’s learning of computer security.