2019 National Cyber Summit

Summit Speaker DJ Hovermale

Session Information

Teaching Cybersecurity with the Flipped-Classroom Approach
Thursday, June 6, 2019 3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Teaching beginning computer science and cybersecurity concepts to adult learners poses many challenges for instructors. This highly technical material is often taught with the traditional classroom approach, where students work linearly through a textbook and receive a live lecture from an instructor during class time and are given an assignment to complete on their own before the next lecture. In this talk we detail how we addressed the challenges involved with teaching a remote class of several hundred students of varying experience in the domain by (i) converting from the traditional classroom approach to the flipped-classroom approach, (ii) grounding student learning with analogies to principles that they understand from real life, (iii) using cloud-based computer infrastructure to provide opportunities for students to immediately apply what they learned in video lectures with hands-on practical exercises and exams, and (iv) creating material that extends beyond the scope of the lesson for the target audience.

Our approach (i) allows a single instructor to teach a remote class of several hundred students with a wide range of ability in the domain, (ii) allows advanced students to still be engaged while not diminishing the quality of instruction for students who are at the intended skill level, (iii) affords students who are struggling with the course material an opportunity to receive one-on-one instruction, and (iv) allows instructors to overcome the difficulties of adapting class materials to keep them relevant in a constantly-evolving subject area.
Dr. DJ Hovermale photo
Dr. DJ Hovermale
Senior Cyber Operations Training Analyst, Principal
Dr. DJ Hovermale is a widely-recognized expert in military cyber exercises. He is a mission-critical asset for capstone-level cyber exercises from United States Cyber Command and the National Guard Bureau. He is the author of several publications related to cyber exercises, including the Cyber Exercise Assessment Handbook. He has earned the trust and respect of these customers, as well as the wider cyber exercise community, as evidenced by his recent induction into the Military Cyber Professionals Association's Order of Thor. He is a passionate educator who has earned many awards for his innovative teaching style and his dedication to his students at the university level, at the DoD's National Cryptologic School/NSA's Associate Directorate for Education and Training (NCS/ADET), and as an instructor for military cyber operators. As a faculty advisor and mentor, as well as the founder and co-chair of the NCS/ADET Student Advisory Board he has consistently demonstrated his commitment to academic excellence and student development. At SAIC he revamped the National Guard Bureau's Cyber Sustainment Training by implementing the flipped-classroom approach and he has continued to advance the field of cyber exercise assessment while serving in the leadership of the highest military cyber exercises.
Jeffrey Shapiro photo
Jeffrey Shapiro
Senior Cyber Operations Training Analyst, Principal
LTC (ret) Jeffrey Shapiro graduated from West Point in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in computer science. He retired from the Army Reserve in 2013 having served 2 combat deployments as a field artillery officer. During his service he also completed the Army Computer Science School and served in the Army Acquisition Corps as a systems automation officer in the MLRS project office.
Since leaving active duty in 2000, LTC Shapiro has supported countless military exercises with the Army Reserve while working full-time for SAIC in Huntsville. He transitioned to supporting military cyber exercises in 2015 and has been involved in training military cyber operators ever since.

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