Full Curricula

College Level Curriculum Materials

We have developed a module based approach to teaching security literacy at the undergraduate level that has been used at Iowa State University for the past seven. These modules are designed to provide students from both technical and non-technical majors with the opportunity to formally learn about the components of practical computer security.  The prime goal of practical computer security literacy is to provide students with security context for many of the activities they encounter throughout their everyday use of computers and the Internet.

The collegiate course that has been taught at Iowa State also uses the video materials in a “flipped classroom” environment. The students watch the assigned videos, read the assigned chapters in the required book, and then come to lecture where the instructor, a faculty member in the Computer Engineering department, conducts demonstrations or provides real world examples of the security literacy concepts covered in the weekly video assignments.  At the end of the week, students must write a one to two paragraph essay answering an open-ended question that makes them apply the concepts covered that week.

The materials can be accessed here.

High School Level Curriculum Materials

Students will relate the information they learn to real world situations through class-based discussions, case studies, and classroom assignments.

The goals of this course are that students will:

  • Define computer security terms and mechanisms.
  • Describe fundamental security concepts.
  • State computer security best practices.
  • Describe the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of security mechanisms and concepts.
  • Give examples of common security threats, threat sources, and threat motivations.
  • Explain their role in protecting their own physical and non-physical computing assets.
  • Discuss current events topics and read security articles in the popular press.
  • Assess computing actions in the context of security

The curriculum has been broken down into several units and each unit includes pre-assessments, warm up problems, reading worksheets, classroom discussion guides, writing assignments, and chapter quizzes. Lessons come with differentiation and alternative instruction suggestions to help with strategies on how teachers can reach all learners.

In addition to these materials, a lab component is also being developed. The lab is designed to give students hands-on experience applying the concepts learned in the unit. The labs are designed as a series of exercises allowing students to not only experience security vulnerabilities, but also learn how to appropriately respond to them without compromising their computer or their personal information.

Instructions for accessing the curriculum can be found here.

Middle School & Elementary School Level Curriculum Materials

For Middle School, it is possible to take the existing High School level curriculum materials and modify them to suit Middle School students. We also have Cyber-Toons for younger students. Cyber-Toons are short videos that discuss various scenarios these students may face. We are currently in the process of developing choose-your-own-adventure style comic books for younger students.