Designing Cybersecurity Escape Rooms: A Gamified Approach to Undergraduate Learning

Abstract depiction of cybersecurity

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Location: Burchard 430

Speaker: Thitima Srivatanakul, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics & Computer Science | York College, CUNY


Gamification, including game-based learning (GBL), is a recognized pedagogical approach for imparting and reinforcing cybersecurity knowledge and skills. An innovative form of GBL that is gaining popularity across various educational levels, from secondary schools to professional development, is escape room-style education. This study focuses on the development and design of escape room activities tailored for teaching web and software security concepts to undergraduate students at York College. The research has two primary objectives: first, to evaluate the effectiveness of these educational escape room activities in reinforcing cybersecurity concepts taught in an undergraduate course; and second, to assess their potential in fostering teamwork and collaboration among students.


Portrait of Thitima Srivatanakul

Dr. Srivatanakul is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science at York College, CUNY. She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2005 and her Master's degree in Software Engineering in 2001, both from the University of York, UK. Dr. Srivatanakul specializes in Cyber Security and Cyber Security Education, Computer Science Education, Game-based Learning, and Software Engineering. She serves as the Principal Investigator (PI) for both the NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program and the NSA/NSF-funded GenCyber Program at York College. In 2020, she and her colleagues secured a five-year grant totaling $1,361,880 from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to administer the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) at the college. Dr. Srivatanakul is a member of the Blockchain Accelerator Advisory Board at the Tech Incubator at Queens College and the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Foundation. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Office of Undergraduate Research at York College.