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No-Cost Implementation of Network Security Labs Utilizing AWS Educate in an Undergraduate Fundamental Network Security Course

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Computers in Education Division Technical Session 7: Advanced CS courses

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34995

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34995

Download Count

100

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Paper Authors

biography

Karla Page Varnell East Carolina University

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Assistant Teaching Professor in Department of Technology Systems at East Carolina University.
Dr. Varnell is interested in IT security policy, innovative teaching strategies, and IT leadership.

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Abstract

No-Cost Implementation of Network Security Labs Utilizing AWS Educate in an Undergraduate Fundamental Network Security Course

In our Fundamentals of Network Security course, we had traditionally used a campus hardware environment and virtual machines. Students would complete their network security labs utilizing this equipment either on-site or remotely. However, many students expressed frustration to this routine, part of the reason being lag in system performance. In response, we considered a no-cost program through Amazon called Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate. This program allows virtual classrooms to be created. For this course, these classrooms were a gateway that students utilized to create and work with various Operating System Instances. This case study examines an online laboratory environment used in a fundamentals of network security course that covers the competencies of the CompTIA Security+ certification. The main objectives were to explore the feasibility of utilizing the no-cost AWS Educate program, determine students’ opinions on utilizing AWS and to determine the pros and cons of students utilizing AWS for labs and assessment. In addition, a comparison of student grades and lab completions was examined with five sections of the course. Two sections used the traditional campus hardware lab scenario. Three sections utilized AWS Educate to complete the labs. This study was based on analysis of responses to an end-of-semester survey, comparison of grades and completeness of labs attempted in each format, students’ suggestions for lab improvements with AWS, and student comments and reactions to utilizing AWS. The advantages and challenges of accessing and utilizing AWS Educate for network security labs will be examined, including student assessment, and a list of suggested best practices for students and instructors utilizing AWS Educate for labs for will be given.

Varnell, K. P. (2020, June), No-Cost Implementation of Network Security Labs Utilizing AWS Educate in an Undergraduate Fundamental Network Security Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34995

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