Evaluation of HackLearn COFELET Game User Experience for Cybersecurity Education

Authors

  • Menelaos N. Katsantonis Department of Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Ioannis Mavridis Department of Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v8i3.437

Keywords:

Cybersecurity education, Serious games, Evaluation, User experience, COFELET

Abstract

HackLearn is a scenario-based hacking simulation game for teaching cybersecurity concepts while providing hands-on hacking experiences to the learners. HackLearn design is based on the COFELET framework, which assimilates modern learning theories, well-known cybersecurity standards, and built-in scaffolding and assessment features. Aiming at evaluating the user experience perceived by HackLearn’s users, we describe the process of adopting it in a real educational environment based on the didactic framework for simulation games. Additionally, we present the evaluation methodology elaborated, based on the serious games’ quality characteristics framework. We discuss the evaluation results which indicate that HackLearn is engaging, motivating, usable and effective in teaching cybersecurity concepts and hacking strategies and techniques. The evaluation results revealed the HackLearn’s aspects that can be improved such as the scaffolding feature and the communication mechanism with the game’s back-end facility. The presented work validates and finalizes prior work elaborated on the COFELET framework (e.g., COFELET ontology and the COFELET games life-cycle), whereas it provides directions for future work in the development and evaluation of cybersecurity serious games.

Author Biographies

Menelaos N. Katsantonis, Department of Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

MENELAOS KATSANTONIS is a PhD Researcher (Dept. of Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia, Greece). He holds a BSc (Computer Science, University of Reading, UK) and an MSc (Distributed Systems and Networks, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK). His current research interests include cybersecurity game-based learning and training. Since 2004, he has been serving, in an experienced Informatics Instructor's capacity, various institutes and schools.

 

Ioannis Mavridis, Department of Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

IOANNIS MAVRIDIS is a Professor of Information Security (Dept. of Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia, Greece). He also serves as Director of the Multimedia, Security & Networking (MSN) Lab. He holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering and Informatics from the University of Patras, Greece, and a PhD in Information Systems Security from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He serves as Area Editor (Cybersecurity) of Array (Elsevier). He has published more than 100 articles in journals and conferences. He is the author and co-author of 3 books on information se-curity. He has participated as principal investigator and researcher in several international and national funded R&D projects. His current research interests include cybersecurity education, risk management, access control, cyber threat intelligence, digital forensics, and security economics.

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Published

2021-09-17

How to Cite

Katsantonis, M., & Mavridis, I. (2021). Evaluation of HackLearn COFELET Game User Experience for Cybersecurity Education. International Journal of Serious Games, 8(3), 3–24. https://doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v8i3.437

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Articles