1 Universidad Europea de Madrid (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 846-851
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.0248
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
This work has been carried out in the framework of the Erasmus+ Project 2018-1-ES01-KA201-050461, entitled: Be@CyberPro - A videogame for fostering cybersecurity careers in Schools. This project aims to train teachers and students in cybersecurity. To this end, one objective of the project has been to use an innovative computing environment that combines videogame and scenario-based problem-learning methods with positive female roles as game protagonists representing cybersecurity experts. Specifically, an interactive digital game has been designed that allows students to face different challenges in different scenarios and with different teams.

The gameplay is designed to span between 40 minutes and 1 hour – the duration of a regular school class. The game follows a role-playing game style, where players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. The main protagonist, a high school girl, is set out to solve a variety of cybersecurity-related challenges, native to different cybersecurity career profiles, to help her friends and schoolmates in a set of situations. More information about the video game can be found at the following link:

The game design follows a model based on methodologies such as Sternberg's model and Freytag's triangle. Sternberg's model aims to develop expert knowledge by identifying appropriate game "loops" to develop intrinsically challenging but achievable game-based learning activities, engaging learners through gradually increasing levels of difficulty. Freytag's triangle, for its part, uses narrative tension as a means of ensuring consistent and appropriate iterations of challenge and continuous feedback within the game.

To understand the impact of the students' experience with the video game, a 13-question questionnaire was carried out among a total of 60 students at the JOYFE school in Madrid. The results indicate that after playing the game, 75% of the students felt that it helped them to understand why cybersecurity is important, followed by 61.1% who indicated that they felt safer on the Internet.

Other noteworthy results are that students rated the game with 4.08 out of 5 (in the question whether they liked it or not), found it easy to use (4.31 out of 5) and that it kept them interested throughout (4.22 out of 5). One of the best rated aspects of the platform is the ease of use (4.54 out of 5) and the navigation through the platform and course material without teacher assistance (4.51 out of 5).

In conclusion, the results obtained after using the game were good, but it should be noted that 22% indicated that they did learn something about gender issues in the world of cybersecurity. Therefore, these results show the need to reinforce the gender perspective in the future.
Videogame, cybersecurity, role-playing game, female roles.