Representing Patterns of Learning as a Function of Course Opportunities

Catherine Horn, Deniz Gurkan, and Jennifer Chauvot

Volume 14, Issue 1 (July 2023), pp. 2–7

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  author={Catherine Horn and Deniz Gurkan and Jennifer Chauvot},
  title={Representing Patterns of Learning as a Function of Course Opportunities},
  journal={The Journal of Computational Science Education},
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Expanded articulation of demonstrable competencies and a burgeoning demand for security analysts increasingly responsive to rapidly evolving conditions have brought to foreground a need to revamp core curriculum in the area. Once such effort has emerged at one university where a faculty member in computer engineering technology, network communications, and computer science has developed a novel pedagogical strategy that teaches network security through protocol behavior and trust point observations. This paper used a single course case study to explore the engagement patterns of learning associated with this novel curricular approach to learning secure design of networks. This exploratory study's findings lay important foundation for understanding the ways in which students are making use of multiple forms of experiential engagement. While homework exercises, perhaps conceptually the most traditional form of engagement, were accessed largely at a one opportunity per student count, practices and much more importantly labs were used in much more frequent ways. In particular, labs display a positive engagement pattern in that they demonstrate students' choices to access early and in a sustained variety of topics. Importantly, these opportunities are active in their mechanism for learning, which connects with a strategy previous empirical literature has positively reinforced.