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Design, development and implementation of an information security and cyberethics course for pre-service teachers: a design-based research

Akman Kadıoğlu, Evrim
With the introduction of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into our lives, production and distribution of information have increased exponentially. The ICT systems and the data, which these systems use, create, or both is an essential resource of schools. For this reason, the secure and ethical use of information is a primary concern for schools. However, the curriculum in teacher training institutions does not include a course that aims to raise pre-service teachers’ awareness of information security and cyberethics. In other words, there is a need for more instructional content on information security and cyberethics for pre-service teachers. The designed, developed and implemented course for this study significantly improves the amount of content for pre-service teachers’ information security awareness and cyberethics sensitivity. The main purpose of this study is to explore important points of designing process of a course including such an instructional content, to enhance pre-service teachers’ information security awareness and cyberethics sensitivity in the Faculty of Education. The research questions of the study can be summarized as; (i) what are content, learner, and instruction related issues during the design and development of a course to increase the pre-service teachers’ information security awareness and cyberethics sensitivity? (ii) What are the facilitating and challenging factors faced during the implementation, and how the challenges are handled from the instructor’s experience? (iii) How do pre-service teachers perceive the contribution of the course on their information security awareness and cyberethics sensitivity? Design-Based Research (DBR) approach with qualitative methods is carried out to answer these questions. As a result of this research, a course content aimed at raising pre-service teachers’ information security and cyberethics awareness presented, and critical elements in the design and development process of such a course are identified. In the scope of the study, during the need analysis and the development phases of the study, a content pool including different cybersecurity, cyberethics, and cybersafety issues and a draft content sequence have emerged. At the end of the two iterative implementation phases, the course design has reached to the final form which included different instructional methods such as face to face lecture sessions, online discussion forums and in-class discussion sessions, reading materials, and different audiovisual materials. The qualitative data analysis shows that the course influenced the students’ preferences on online activities and password protection strategies. Besides, their information security and cyberethics awareness have raised. Furthermore, daily life correspondence of the course topics facilitates the instruction process and increases the learners’ interest.