Security Computer no gridThe Center has delivered a new Security Awareness training to the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). With a focus on practical application and interactivity, the training showcases the Center’s growing capability to develop innovative online learning solutions.

Designed to strengthen understanding of the guidelines protecting the DSS computer network and sensitive client data, the training takes learners through a day in their lives at the agency. Immersive scenarios put their knowledge of policy into action.

“The Center really thought outside the box,” says Dr. Stephen McCauley, former DSS Chief Information Security Officer. “They assisted us in developing a long lasting, high quality, easily understood product which is specifically relevant to our organization.”

The project demanded extensive storyboarding, prototyping, and user-testing to bring its interactions to life. The result is a training built on the principle that deliberate practice is the best way to teach learners how to make good security decisions. “We wanted to be surprising,” says Chris Koslowski, a writer on the Center’s Instructional Design team. “The energy of in-person training can be difficult to replicate online. We kept that in mind throughout the design process. We built experiences and challenges for our learners. We don’t lecture.”

The training encourages practice by asking learners to face the security choices they are expected to make every day, from deciding how to react to an unauthorized visitor in the office to sorting through an email inbox mined with scam links and dangerous attachments. Participants well-versed in DSS security policy get a chance to prove their knowledge and receive positive reinforcement. The training recognizes those who need further instruction, giving these learners the practice required to change their security habits.

The training is one of the Center’s most ambitious virtual projects to date. Its success shows the Center’s expanding ability to produce forward-thinking online training customized to a client’s needs. “Working with the Center was an excellent experience,” McCauley says. “They understood the issue and addressed it perfectly.”