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“Cyber World” as a Theme for a University-wide First-year Common Course

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Cyber Technology

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31923

Download Count

6

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Paper Authors

biography

Kristen Przyborski University of New Haven

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Kristen Przyborski is the Common Course Director and a Lecturer in the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at the University of New Haven. Her PhD is in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida. The focus of her doctoral studies was the ecology of natural toxins. The pedagogy of science, critical thinking, and scientific literacy are her primary research interests today.

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Frank Breitinger University of New Haven Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5261-4600

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Dr. Frank Breitinger received the B.S. degree in computer science from the University of Applied Sciences in Mannheim (2009, Germany), his M.S. degree in computer science from the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt (2011, Germany) and his Ph.D. degree in computer science from the Technical University Darmstadt (2014).
He was self-employed for 5 years, a visiting researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to lead NIST SP 800-168 on Approximate Matching, and interned as a software developer for the University of Maryland and the sobedi GmbH (Mannheim, Germany).
Since 2014 he is an Assistant Professor of computer science at the Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven, CT (ECECS department) with a research focus on cybersecurity and digital forensics. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, chaired an international conference in cybersecurity in Manhattan and serves as a reviewer on several program committees. Additional information about him and his work is on his website: https://www.FBreitinger.de.

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Lauren Beck University of New Haven

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Lauren Beck holds positions at the University of New Haven as Lecturer in the English Department and as Assistant Director of the Common Course (a required first-year course in critical thinking). She earned a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama from Northwestern University. Her primary research interests lie in the intersection of the fields of Theatre and Sound Studies in mobile audio works that she calls "ototheatre." More recently, Lauren has begun to study the impact of theatre studies on pedagogical practice in non-theatre courses.

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Ronald S. Harichandran University of New Haven

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Ron Harichandran is Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering and is co-PI of the grant entitled Development of the ‘CyberWorld’ Common Course at the University of New Haven that facilitated the work reported in this paper.

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Abstract

Nowadays we all live in a cyber world and use the internet for emailing, banking, streaming video, shopping, reading news, or other activities. Given all the time people spend online, it is important that all students (regardless of their major) learn some basics about living in a cyber world, e.g., strategies for online safety, impact of artificial intelligence, digital forensics or ancestry.com. To facilitate students from many majors to learn about important issues related to the internet, eight faculty from a variety of disciplines at the University of New Haven integrated the theme of Cyber World into our team-taught, first-year experience course, also referred to as the “Common Course.” The Common Course’s primary purpose is to enable students to develop evidence-based arguments and to challenge their own and others’ assumptions in relation to that evidence. Each Common Course class focuses on a broad topic (e.g., Justice, Happiness, or Identity) that instructors use as a touch point to facilitate critical thinking. In Cyber World, however, the topic is given stronger focus, and all students in the class are expected to come away with specific cyber-related knowledge. A special challenge is that the majority of the 160 students are from non-STEM majors. Given the varied background of students, this course covers a variety of topics such as sharing DNA with ancestry.com, protecting against identity theft, detecting fake news, and oversharing personal information. The course is taught by eight faculty members from four different colleges having expertise in a variety of disciplines. An important side effect of this faculty diversity is that interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty are promoted. Our paper has three significant contributions: (1) We present the eight topics related to living in a cyber world that we chose for this course, including our rationale for why they are appropriate and relevant; (2) We summarize how we integrated the Cyber World topics into the structure of the Common Course, which includes a discussion of the challenges we faced; and (3) We summarize some initial results on how students perceived their experience as well as how they performed compared to other common course sections / topics.

Przyborski, K., & Breitinger, F., & Beck, L., & Harichandran, R. S. (2019, June), “Cyber World” as a Theme for a University-wide First-year Common Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/31923

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