Civica Learning team conduct MOD cyber security gaming research

17th November 2021

Civica Learning team conducts MOD cyber security gaming research

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) wanted to research the effectiveness of traditional eLearning versus online games.

The challenge

As part of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) manages projects for the MOD.

The CDE wanted to research different learning designs that could push the boundaries of what is possible in key areas of interest for the MOD - which might benefit the UK’s defence and national security.

The solution

The Civica Learning team was commissioned to research how best to train people in basic cyber security awareness and best practice. Two digital learning methods were identified to form the basis of the research: a traditional eLearning course and a pure online game.

Using in-house cyber security subject matter expertise, Civica developed a base set of learning content calculated to achieve a defined set of learning objectives.

The eLearning course, designed and built using HTML5, was optimised for desktop and tablet use. It was deliberately designed to be a good example of modern eLearning, utilising sequential navigation and a page-turning approach. The pages consisted of a mix of text, attractive visual images, animations and sound, including HTML5 interactions, which required the learner to click on different assets and manipulate these on screen. It incorporated quizzes and surveys.

Example of the eLearning cyber security course

Example of the eLearning cyber security course

The online game was designed from scratch and optimised for use on tablet devices. Different game formats were considered and assessed against the audience profile and budget availability. The Civica Learning team designed and created a series of highly visual game activities, with lots of sound effects and movement.

The different elements of the game demanded digital dexterity, timing and concentration. All were linked by a dark and slightly threatening spy-type scenario, behind which lurked a shadowy enemy mastermind.

Example of the gamified cyber security course

The result

The design and build phases of the project were completed on time and within agreed budgets. Civica also sourced the civilian test audience to proceed with the final trials.

We used an invited audience of millennials to evaluate the different training techniques – quantitative assessments and qualitative interviews were carried out to assess the results.

After analysing the learner audience experience, and the knowledge transfer and retention outcomes, Civica Learning consultants reported back to the CDE with valuable research results.

As a result, lessons learnt from this exercise have been incorporated into multiple subsequent learning projects.