#SUNYCIT Session: Gamified Digital Forensics Course Modules for Entry-level Students

#SUNYCIT Session: Gamified Digital Forensics Course Modules for Entry-level Students

Always looking for gamification ideas, I attended Yin Pan’s presentation on gamifying a digital forensics course. Yin Pan from Rochester Institute of Technology is building a digital forensics course through an NSF Grant along with Onondaga Community College and Corning Community College.


As Yin Pan started, she explained that there was a need for more forensic technicians. To develop these technicians, there is a need for digital forensic science courses earlier in student career to generate interest in the field of study. Unfortunately, there is typically a long list of prerequisites for digital forensic courses.

Digital forensics

Yin Pan explained that digital forensics is about searching out digital assets and preserving these assets. It also includes analysis of the evidence and reporting of evidence.

Digital Forensics, the game

Yin Pan and his team are creating a game-based course to learn basic digital forensics. It is designed to be intuitive and interactive. Using a modular design, it gives them the basics of digital forensics and shows them how to use different tools. Students are using real tools. Because it is modularized, pieces can be injected into another course.

Different levels

  • Level 100 – Intro to digital forensics
  • Level 200 – Linus/Unix, Windows, and networks
  • Level 300 – Advanced systems and mobile systems


The course uses XML thus making it easy to update. It includes questions, engagement activities, and help. The game walks students through the process of digital forensics. Students take on the role of investigator and map their evidence as they find it.

I thought this was a great example of hands-on gaming that helps learning. Yin Pan was able to demonstrate the program even though they were in the earlier phases of development. I will be curious what the final result will look like.

Additional Reading

Photo: File:Parrot-webscanners.png. (2017, February 19). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 15:36, June 19, 2018 from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Parrot-webscanners.png&oldid=234390960.

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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