Various factors dissuade women from the field of cybersecurity. Educational interventions are needed to mitigate the negative effects of stereotypes and low perceived self-efficacy and help girls gain interest in learning about cybersecurity. This thesis focuses on an intervention targeted to increase teenage girls' interest and self-efficacy in cybersecurity: the Cybermatics Playable Case Study. Findings from a mixed-methods study in which a focus group was conducted with 7 middle school girls, interviews were conducted with 2 high school girls, and pre- and post- simulation survey was collected from all 9 participants reveal tensions between enjoyment and frustration in the girls' experience with Cybermatics and their desire for both autonomy in completing tasks and the availability of help when needed. Almost all of the study participants indicated that their experience with the Playable Case Study made them more interested in cybersecurity and feel more confident in their ability to do well in a cybersecurity class, although the quantitative data revealed considerable complexity in the girls' perceptions of these constructs and significant lack of prior knowledge of cybersecurity. Quantitative survey data illustrates correlations between successful completion and enjoyment of the simulation, interest, and self-efficacy. Qualitative data from the focus group and 2 individual interviews shed light on what may be the simulation's greatest benefit: giving exposure to cybersecurity to teen girls in a way that is interesting and provides an accurate portrayal of the work of a security analyst.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Winters, Desiree Marie, "Using Playable Case Studies to Influence Teen Girls' Self-Efficacy and Interest in Cybersecurity" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 7558.
simulation, computer simulation, cybersecurity, playable case study, self-efficacy