This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
April-June 2011 (vol. 4 no. 2)
pp. 125-137
Li Yu, Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
L Harrison, Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
Aidong Lu, Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
Zhiwei Li, Dept. of Software & Inf. Syst., Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
Weichao Wang, Dept. of Software & Inf. Syst., Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
We have designed and developed a 3D digital Lego system as an education tool for teaching security protocols effectively in Information Assurance courses (Lego is a trademark of the LEGO Group. Here, we use it only to represent the pieces of a construction set.). Our approach applies the pedagogical methods learned from toy construction sets by treating security primitives as Lego pieces and protocols as construction results. Simulating the Lego toys, the digital Legos use matching shapes to help students understand the relationships among security primitives and protocols. Specifically, we present a flexible Lego generation method that can use various intuitive shapes to represent abstract and complex security protocols. Our design allows easy generation of new Lego sets and creation of different course materials. The integrated system also provides 3D interaction methods that simulate the real Lego building experience. For selected security courses, we have designed sample demonstrations and experiments for a set of important protocols. The initial evaluation results show encouraging feedback from students on using digital Legos in introductory security courses.

[1] V. Pothamsetty, "Where Security Education Is Lacking," Proc. Second Ann. Conf. Information Security Curriculum Development, pp. 54-58, 2005.
[2] J. Weinberg, G. Engel, K. Gu, C. Karacal, S. Smith, W. White, and X. Yu, "A Multidisciplinary Model for Using Robotics in Engineering Education," Proc. Am. Soc. Eng. Education Ann. Conf., 2001.
[3] P. Wyeth and H. Purchase, "Using Developmental Theories to Inform the Design of Technology for Children," Proc. Conf. Interaction Design and Children, pp. 93-100, 2003.
[4] B. Harley, Constructional Toys. Shire, 1990.
[5] G. Cross, Kids' Stuff. Harvard Univ., 1997.
[6] M. Eisenberg, A. Eisenberg, M. Gross, K. Kaowthumrong, N. Lee, and W. Lovett, "Computationally-Enhanced Construction Kits for Children: Prototype and Principles," Proc. Int'l Conf. Learning Science, pp. 79-85, 2002.
[7] Y. Kitamura et al., "Real-Time 3D Interaction with Activecube," Proc. Conf. Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '01), pp. 355-356, 2001.
[8] M. Resnick et al., "Programmable Bricks: Toys to Think With," IBM Systems J., vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 443-452, 1996.
[9] J. Weinberg and X. Yu, "Robotics in Education: Low-Cost Platforms for Teaching Integrated Systems," IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 4-6, June 2003.
[10] J. Maloney, L. Burd, Y. Kafai, N. Rusk, B. Silverman, and M. Resnick, "Scratch: A Sneak Preview," Proc. Int'l Conf. Creating, Connecting, and Collaborating through Computing, pp. 104-109, 2004.
[11] F. Martin, B. Mikhak, M. Resnick, B. Silverman, and R. Berg, "To Mindstorms and Beyond: Evolution of a Construction Kit for Magical Machines," Robots for Kids: Exploring New Technologies for Learning, pp. 9-33, Morgan Kauffman, 2000.
[12] A. Howe, "The Ultimate Construction Toy: Applying Kit-of-Parts Theory to Habitat and Vehicle Design," Proc. Aerospace Architecture Symp., 2002.
[13] C. Coulston and R. Ford, "Teaching Functional Decomposition for the Design of Electrical and Computer Systems," Proc. 34th Ann. Conf. IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE '04), 2004.
[14] J. Millen and V. Shmatikov, "Constraint Solving for Bounded-Process Cryptographic Protocol Analysis," Proc. ACM Conf. Computer and Comm. Security (CCS '01), pp. 166-175, 2001.
[15] C. Cremers, "Compositionality of Security Protocols: A Research Agenda," Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, vol. 142, no. 3, pp. 99-110, 2006.
[16] W. Wang, A. Lu, L. Yu, and Z. Li, "A Digital Lego Set and Exercises for Teaching Security Protocols," Proc. 12th Colloquium for Information System Security Education (CISSE '08), pp. 26-33, 2008.
[17] C. Burger and K. Rothermel, "A Framework to Support Teaching in Distributed Systems," ACM J. Educational Resources in Computing, vol. 1, no. 1, Mar. 2001.
[18] E. Saul and A. Hutchison, "A Graphical Environment for the Facilitation of Logic-Based Security Protocol Analysis," South African Computer J., vol. 21, pp. 26-30, 1998.
[19] D. Schweitzer, L. Baird, M. Collins, W. Brown, and M. Sherman, "Grasp: A Visualization Tool for Teaching Security Protocols," Proc. 10th Colloquium for Information System Security Education (CISSE '06), 2006.
[20] N. Elmqvist, "Protoviz: A Simple Security Protocol Visualization," technical report, Univ. of Gothenburg, 2004.
[21] D. Dolev and A. Yao, "On the Security of Public Key Protocols," IEEE Trans. Information Theory, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 198-208, Mar. 1983.
[22] P. Cignoni et al., "Meshlab," http:/, 2010.
[23] F. Jacquemard et al., "Security Protocols Open Repository," index.html, 2010.
[24] Z. Li and W. Wang, "Using Deductive Knowledge to Improve Cryptographic Protocol Verification," Proc. IEEE Military Comm. Conf. (MILCOM '09), pp. 1-7, Oct. 2009.

Index Terms:
teaching,computer aided instruction,educational courses,information science education,security of data,introductory security course,security protocol teaching,3D digital Lego system,education tool,information assurance course,pedagogical method,toy construction set,Lego pieces,Lego toys,flexible Lego generation method,intuitive shape,complex security protocol,Lego set,3D interaction method,Lego building experience,Protocols,Security,Education,Three dimensional displays,Shape,Construction industry,Visualization,visualization for education.,Security protocol,digital Lego,construction set
Li Yu, L Harrison, Aidong Lu, Zhiwei Li, Weichao Wang, "3D Digital Legos for Teaching Security Protocols," IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 125-137, April-June 2011, doi:10.1109/TLT.2010.19
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.