Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Kyle Cronin

Second Advisor

Dr. Wayne Pauli

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark Geary

Abstract

The cyber landscape is growing and evolving at a fast pace. Public and private industries need qualified applicants to protect and defend information systems that drive the digital economy. Currently, there are not enough candidates in the pipeline to fill this need in the workforce. The digital economy is still growing, thus presenting an even greater need for skilled workers in the future. The lack of a strong workforce in cybersecurity presents many challenges to safeguarding U.S. national security and citizens across the world. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines Open Educational Resources (OER) as teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. OERs weaken barriers to learning by reducing costs, increasing access, and allowing adaptability of educational materials to meet the needs of an instructor in their field. In this study, the research aims to study cyber faculty members from higher educational institutions in the United States to determine their perceptions of using OER for cyberlearning. A survey instrument from the Babson Survey Research Group was adopted and adapted by the researcher for use in statistical analysis. Individuals from cyber professional organizations, an academic conference, and professional development opportunities in the Summer of 2019 completed the survey to help build the sample for data analysis. The research questions in the study aim to look for statistically significant differences in perceptions of cyber faculty by looking at their years of experience and the number of specialty roles faculty fill in their cyber endeavors. Further understanding of the perceptions of OER by cyber faculty will help understand the roles these educational tools play in tackling the challenges that exist in the cyber landscape.

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