Pedagogical and self-reflecting approach to improving the learning within a cyber exercise


  • Anni Karinsalo VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
  • Karo Saharinen JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • Jani Päijänen JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • Jarno Salonen VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd



Cyber range, Cyber exercise, Cybersecurity skills, Cybersecurity, Survey


: In the digitalized world, there is a growing need not only to improve one’s cybersecurity skills and knowledge, but also to find ways to optimize the learning process, for example by motivating the learners or optimising the learning facilities, material and the learners for the process. Cyber exercises ran within cyber ranges/arenas (CR) are an efficient way for the exercise participants to improve their cybersecurity skills and knowledge level. The pedagogical way of orienteering the participant to a learning situation is to have a preliminary survey, which prepares the participant for the upcoming event, adds self-reflection, and may even provide feedback and background information for the educator about the upcoming event. The objective of the survey is to improve the quality of the exercise by knowing the interest areas, preferences and other useful information about the participants that is then be used optimise the exercise accordingly.  

 This study analyses the structure of one preliminary survey targeted for the cyber exercise event to be held in January 2022. The questions are justified according to existing frameworks. We have collected a set of structured questions presenting different topics related to the participants’ professional background and expectations towards the exercise. In addition to the short-term goal of analysing the survey for one cyber exercise, this work benefits the long-term goal for improving the skills of cybersecurity professionals. Our further work will validate the results of our preliminary analysis and analyse its correspondence with the survey results, and the final analysis constructed after the cyber exercise.