Game-based learning platform to enhance cybersecurity education

Manzoor Ahmed Khan, Adel Merabet, Shamma Alkaabi, Hesham El Sayed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Computer security competitions have been playing a significant role in encouraging students to get into cybersecurity, as well as enhancing the cybersecurity education system. The level of difficulty of the computer security tasks could be intimidating for most students and learners, one of the reasons there has been a shortage of cybersecurity professionals, in addition to that the lack of technical training and materials. The risks posed by the cyberattacks keep constantly evolving that positions the cybersecurity education as constantly changing area, which are at times hard to teach. Furthermore, the cybersecurity laboratories are hard to setup and the assessment tools are not accurate. This obviously impacts the proper engagement of students and the learning outcomes. To address these issues, we propose a game-based learning platform to enhance cybersecurity education. The platform applies an adapted ARCS motivational model to design and evaluate different challenges, it includes a virtual lab for students with the necessary tools for practice and a web portal where all challenges and learning materials are hosted. The aim is to help students learn at their own pace about different cybersecurity challenges, give them the opportunity to gain hacking skills with ethics taken in mind in a much safer environment. Learning by solving fun puzzles and playing educational games has a huge impact on students’ performances in cybersecurity. Although the contributed solution is developed for UAE University, we believe it imparts same gains in similar educational institutes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5153-5177
Number of pages25
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Competitions
  • Computer security
  • Cybersecurity
  • Education
  • Gamification
  • Online learning
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


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