COLTRANE aims to modernize and streamline cybersecurity education across Europe by introducing innovative education concepts in the context of collaborative awareness education. As most of the knowledge areas relating to cybersecurity are specific to certain areas and disciplines, cybersecurity awareness education creates an overarching theme to have the widest possible relevance, creating tangible impact on security, and creating a promise of not just academic discussion but real consequences in the security of European citizens.
Awareness of the critical nature of cyber security issues is the key ingredient for students to focus on, and lack of awareness is a source of tremendous issues. As such, success in improving awareness can deliver significant positive impacts. Few other fields require such a holistic and multidisciplinary view on things as cybersecurity does. In order to understand cybersecurity (and its problems), students have to be able to understand various related technological, legal, economic, social and psychological aspects that can influence it.
Traditional forms of education mainly focus on knowledge transmission, but in highly dynamic areas such as cybersecurity this does not lead to sufficient learning outcomes. We therefore need more innovative forms of education that aim at the development of joint action: being able to act in a variety of situations and knowing how to do this together.
COLTRANE aims to develop cybersecurity awareness education in HEIs that is innovative in four ways:
- Establishing a holistic vision on cybersecurity, by not only focusing on resolving cyberthreats, but on the activities and implications in authentic organisational contexts;
- Extending the view of awareness of cybersecurity, which expands the notion of ‘being secure’ to that of reflection and sharing of issues relevant to cybersecurity;
- Promoting a view on cybersecurity as collaborative, implying that all stakeholders have a role in it, and that these roles need to be coordinated, during cyberthreats, but also after such events;
- Enabling reflection on the relevance and coherence of cybersecurity education across domains, organisational and national borders.
This is realised in the COLTRANE project by:
- exploiting the affordances of cyber-ranges and collaborative learning platforms to create hands-on activities, as well as collaborative reflection;
- co-design of learning activities together with teachers, according to a framework for developing cybersecurity awareness education;
- to develop a toolkit for teachers for evaluation of learning activities by students; and
- to support managers and policy makers by co-designing toolkits for institutional implementation planning.
The COLTRANE consortium consists of six partners, combining expertise in the areas of higher education learning and teaching, cybersecurity, state of the art technology, and collaborative learning and educational design.