Project Reference: DT105

Student’s Name: Maariya Hussain

Project title: Overcoming the challenges of teaching Digital Forensics online

Course Title: BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics

Supervisor’s Name: Shahid Shabbir

To design and develop an interactive learning delivery platform and resources to facilitate an online Digital Forensics course

Digital Forensics can be a challenging course for universities to run face-to-face and online due to students requiring hands on experience and access to Digital Forensics software and tools. Due to these limitations, students that cannot attend face-to-face classes are at a disadvantage as they miss out on opportunities to study practical courses such as DF. In this paper, a proposal was made to create an online interactive learning delivery platform and resources to facilitate an online Digital Forensics course. Research was conducted using primary and secondary sources to evaluate current online mechanisms used for distance learning courses and tutor and student experiences of distance learning courses. The findings from the research was used to design and build the project. The online delivery system consisted of a virtual machine, a Moodle page, and a Safe Exam Browser. The performance and effectiveness of the online delivery system was tested and recorded in two test tables. The results demonstrate that it is possible to use some of the features of the online delivery system, but automated methods such as creating users are required to make the project more efficient for live deployment.

BCU and other universities should be able to benefit from this project if it is a cost-effective method of delivering a DF course online. The reason for this is because delivering the course online would not require the university to have a physical DF laboratory. Therefore, the university would save on costs such as maintenance, electricity, and equipment. Furthermore, an online laboratory can benefit universities such as BCU as it can provide an alternative method for students to access specialist software out of hours or when the physical laboratory is in use, providing its students with equal opportunities to learning. Moreover, this project will have business benefits if it can make technical degree courses more accessible for trans-national collaborations, which is a growing area for universities in the United Kingdom. Another benefit of this project is that students who cannot attend campus due to personal reasons or work commitments will be given the opportunity to access DF tools and software from home without any additional costs. This would provide all students access to the necessary resources needed to study a DF course.