The University of Adelaide: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

PF university of adelaide
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Key outcome

  • Development of two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to provide cyber security training for teachers.
  • Facilitated creation of a community of teachers to share experience and learnings in the cyber security space.
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Economic impact

  • Facilitated connections between education providers across Australia, enabling improved cross-industry alignment.
  • Improved awareness of cyber security within the teacher community, which has downstream effects of influencing students to consider careers in cyber security.
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Government funding


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Industry funding


The AustCyber Projects Fund is a $15 million, three-year initiative designed to help the Australian cyber security industry grow and take ideas globally. Since launching in 2018, AustCyber has provided this funding to projects that are making a real contribution to growing Australia’s cyber security ecosystem, guided by the Sector Competitiveness Plan.

uni of adelaide 1One of the participants in AustCyber’s Projects Fund was the University of Adelaide, which used its involvement in the Projects Fund program for the development of two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to provide cyber security training for teachers. These courses facilitate the creation of a community of teachers, allowing for the sharing of experience and learnings in the cyber security space.

The University of Adelaide recognised the need for teacher education in cyber security and awareness, given the ubiquitous nature of technology and the important role teachers play in educating our young people to navigate their digital world in a curious but safe manner.

There were few resources available to support educators, so the university was keen to apply its established professional learning model to further expand and grow school support for this important area.

In partnership with the CSIRO and Google, two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for teachers on teaching cyber security and awareness were developed – one for primary teachers and one for secondary teachers. The courses unpack key concepts and present practical classroom activities teachers can directly use to address key learnings within the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum and ICT Capabilities. The MOOCs are centred around 3 key ideas: cyber awareness, cyber security, and cyber safety.

Participation in the courses has made a difference in teachers’ knowledge and understanding of cyber security. When analysing the pre‐surveys and post‐surveys for MOOCs, there was a shift in teacher language from familiar e‐safety topics, such as internet safety, etiquette, cyber bullying, and privacy settings, towards a much deeper and broader understanding of cyber security and computer science with mention of the role of data, information, networks, devices, cyber attacks, and protection mechanisms.uni of adelaide 2

To date, over 1,000 teachers have enrolled in the MOOCs, with 270 in the Secondary MOOC and 806 in the Primary MOOC.

A core element of the CSER MOOCs model is community; providing a space for teachers to demonstrate knowledge and share practices and resources as part of learning tasks. The community for the cyber security MOOCs has grown with teachers sharing many classroom resources, lesson ideas, and reflections.

About The University of Adelaide, CSER Group

The Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER), based at the University of Adelaide in the School of Computer Science, aims to promote research and scholarship both within the field of computer science education and more broadly in the higher education sector.

Learn more about the University of Adelaide at their website.

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Find out more about the other projects involved with the AustCyber Projects Fund.