REDESIGN OF MOBILE DEVICE SECURITY COURSE

While working as a Senior Cyber Technologist II for the United States Postal Service, I was tasked with updating a course on Mobile Device Security for USPS employees. Below are samples of the original course followed by the changes I made and some discussion of what I changed and why.

COURSE SCENARIO

Before

The original course involved two anthropomorphic phones discussing cybersecurity issues: Paula, a USPS-issued phone and Andy, a personal phone who talked like a surfer dude. 

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After

In the reworked course, I created a realistic scenario where the user is traveling and needs to make decisions regarding the cybersecurity of their phone. I also chose photos and skin tones that were diverse and did not emphasize any one ethnicity.

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VISUAL STYLE

Before

The original course had hand-drawn cartoons with watercolor on top of a white background. Although I personally love cartoons and think they do have a place in training, I thought the phones with faces (and Andy's surfer dude voice) made the threat seem fanciful and less serious.

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After

In the reworked course, I chose to use photos and modern vector-style graphics that portrayed the threat as more urgent and real. I think using these colorful images is more visually engaging as well.

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CONTENT

Before

The original course involved listening to a discussion of cybersecurity topics with few, if any, visual examples, followed by Knowledge Checks. Here, geotagging is discussed as checking into social media.

 

I also thought the original Knowledge Checks were more about vocabulary than understanding the concept and how to use this knowledge in daily life.

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After

In the reworked course, I placed the questions before the content, so that students would have to think about the topic before discussing the content. I also tried to get away from true/false or standard four-item single answer questions. Instead I used multi-answers that not only have students think about what the right answer might be, but also WHY it is the right answer.

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This photo of Zion National Park pixelates and then fades into 1s and 0s, while different information appears on top.

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I included content discussing how geotagging involves not only checking into websites, but also how digital information is embedded into files, including your location, your name, and information about your phone. Feedback on this course included many USPS employees saying this was new information for them and that they appreciated how the content was relevant to them.