Understanding Online Safety


Project Proposal


With the evolution of Internet technologies, the issue of online safety has taken a main stage.

Internet has grown massively and so has the number of users. The variety of hardware and software has given a speedier and longer access to the Internet. Any computer that is connected to the Internet is vulnerable to possible Internet attacks than those computers that do not have an Internet access.

Course overview

This course is designed for instructors to understand the significance of identifying the problems posed by online threats and provides a series of solutions which could guide them and their students to ensure a safe online environment. In unit 4, students are provided with scenarios where they are required to use their knowledge to safeguard them from online crime.

Topics addressed in this course are:

  1. Online safety: What is it?
  2. Understanding how Internet works and
  3. The security threats posed by virtual attacks
  4. Safeguarding your computer and personal information.

Select the following link for a brief overview of the course.

Course overview

Needs assessment

Instructional problem:

Instructors often may not have the knowledge of recognizing the online threats while engaging in asynchronous or asynchronous communication activities, or downloading software programs from the Internet and installing them on to their hard-drives. This awareness will give the online community of learners an opportunity to be cautions and vigilant.

The nature of what is to be learned:

Instructors will gain a practical knowledge of how to take precautionary measures against virtual attacks which could damage their computers and create security threats such as losing user identities, files, hard drive space, intercepting e-mail messages, losing passwords of bank accounts and finally succumbing to cybercrime.

About the learners:

Course participants are college-level instructors who utilize computers, especially the Internet for a variety of purposes including teaching online or doing research for work and school.

The instructional context:

  1. Instructional environment: Instruction will be imparted in a computer classroom with an Internet connection
  2. Target audience: College-level instructors who make use of the World Wide Web in their instructions, or research at work and school.
  3. Population: 15-20 instructors
  4. Instructional content: The instruction will be divided into units. Each unit will begin with an overview of that unit’s learning objectives, followed by lectures using multimedia tools for assessments and feedback.
  5. Student characteristics: The learners in this context are intrinsically motivated and have voluntarily accepted to sign up for the course.
  6. Site constraints: Connection to the Internet and the hardware could be subject to malfunction at times.

Task analysys

Course purpose

As a result of participating in this course, instructors will gain an understanding of various security threats on the Internet. They will be able to apply the knowledge by assisting and guiding their students to follow the safety precautions while working with the World Wide Web.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the participants will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of online safety.
  • Comprehend the types of risks involved in the virtual environment.
  • Apply teaching strategies to inform and guide students to deal with the various online threats/risks.
  • Identify the main characteristics of an unsafe online environment.
  • Design a project-based inquiry for students to learn how to evaluate the safety of websites.


Enabling prerequisites:

  • Computer is an electronic device programmed/instructed to carry out the following functions: :
  1. Accept/ Enter data (input),
  2. Process the data using internal circuitry (process)
  3. Display the data as meaningful information (output),
  4. Store it for future use (storage).
  5. Communicating with other computers over a network (communication).
  • Knowledge of computer system as having two parts: :
  1. Hardware
  2. Software
  • Understanding the basic concepts of the Internet:
  1. Internet is a collection of computers all over the world that are connected with one another.
  2. A number of things are responsible to make this connection happen.
  • Access to the Internet involves benefits as well as risks in terms of virtual attacks.
  • Types of virtual attacks.
  • Knowledge of countermeasures to avert these attacks.

Supportive prerequisites:

  1. Enthusiastic to learn new material
  2. Ability to assimilate information.
  3. Ability to maintain a positive attitude towards the advancement of technology.

Instructional Curriculum Map

Please click on the link File:Instructional Curriculum Map.pdf to view the course curriculum map.

Sequence of instruction

Unit 1: Online safety: What is it?

Target objectives:

Upon completion of this unit, the participants will:

  1. Understand the concept of online safety
  2. Understand how computers connected to the Internet are susceptible to cyber/virtual attacks.


  1. Lecture
  2. Presentation slides
  3. Discussion
  4. Unit quiz

Unit 2: Understanding how the Internet works

Target objectives:

Upon completion of this unit, the participants will:

  1. Understand how data is transferred over the Internet
  2. Understand how our computers process this data


  1. Lecture
  2. Presentation slides
  3. Discussion
  4. Unit quiz

Unit 3: The security threats posed by virtual attacks

Target objectives:

Upon completion of this unit, the participants will:

  1. Understand the type of security threats.
  2. Understand the terminology such as:
    1. Data confidentiality
    2. Privacy and copyright issues
    3. Hacker attacks:
      1. Sniffer programs
      2. Spoofing
      3. Phishing
      4. Port scan
      5. Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses
      6. Brute force attack
    4. Spyware
      1. adware and malware
      2. Web programs


  1. Lecture
  2. Presentation slides
  3. Discussion
  4. Unit quiz

Unit 4: Safeguarding your computer and personal information

Target objectives:

Upon completion of this unit, the participants will:

  1. Understand how to strengthen security over the Internet.
  • Encryption
  • Digital signatures
  • Secure Web servers
  • Anti-Virus software
  • Security in Internet Explorer
2 Checking security features of a web site
  • Configure the security features of a web page
  • Understand the role of cookies


  1. Lecture
  2. Presentation slides
  3. Evaluate web sites to check for autheticity
  4. Unit quiz


  • Tessmer, M. (Feb. 1997). The role of context in learning and instructional design.Educational Technology Research & Development, 45(2), 85-115.
  • Schneider, G., Evans, J., & Pinard, K. (2006). The Internet. Boston: Thomson Course Technology.
  • Shambaugh, R. N., & Magliaro, S.G. (1997). Mastering the possibilities: A process approach to Instructional Design.Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Parker, C.S., & Morley, D. (2003). Understanding computers today and tomorrow.Boston: Thomson Course Technology.
  • Comer, D.E. (2007). • Computer Networks and Internets with Internet Applications, 4e. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
  • Lerner, M. (2009). The animated Internet:Connecting to the Internet. Retrieved April 9, 2009, from Learn the Net Web site: http://www.learnthenet.com/english/animate/connect.html
  • Shuler, R. (2005). How soes the Internet work?. Retrieved April 8, 2009, from How does the Internet work? - White paper Web site: http://www.theshulers.com/whitepapers/internet_whitepaper/index.html
  • Alpha Net Developers, Inc, (2001). Retrieved April 15, 2009, from Internet & hosting Web site: internet-backbone.jpg
  • (2009). Retrieved April 12, 2009, from Images Web site: http://images.search.yahoo.com/
  • Tyson, Jeff (2001). How Internet Infrastructure Works: Retrieved April 8, 2009, from HowStuffWorks.com: http://www.howstuffworks.com/internet-infrastructure.htm
  • Williams, B. (2007). Using Information Technology – a practical introduction to computers and communications 7e. New York, NY: McGraw- Hill/Irwin


Back to the Main Page: Jay_Chakravarthy
Back to Community: ETAP 623 Sping 2009