Learning Security

Challenges and Opportunities

This section intends to shed light on a few of the obstacles information-security trainers invited to an institution—be it a journalism school or a newsroom—may face regarding the logistical challenge of implementing a workshop series according to the methodology highlighted above.


Determining the weekly time slot for our cumulative track was quite a challenge, as we asked that students—whose official class schedules had already been determined—commit to attending all six of our workshops. This was further complicated by CJS’s mid-term schedule rotation. While the form of these challenges may be unique to CJS, any institution offering similar workshops on an ongoing basis will face both outreach and scheduling challenges. Though scheduling an initial session at a time when most of our target audience of students was free helped with outreach, we also made use of Twitter and Facebook announcements, as well as word of mouth, to build an email list through which we could solicit schedule information from potential participants. Naturally, our drop-in track was easier to schedule, as we only needed to identify the time slot that conflicted with the fewest classes. Managing an ongoing sign-up process, however, proved somewhat time-consuming. Within one week of each workshop, we announced the upcoming session topic by email and asked students to RSVP. We maintained a wait-list of up to ten students for each session and asked participants to cancel by email if they were unable to attend. To publicize these sessions we additionally made use of centralized displays and calendars the school maintains, as well as social media announcements. We held office hours two days per week, for two hours each day.With the exception of cumulative workshop participants requesting catch-up appointments for missed sessions, which typically lasted one hour, we limited each appointment to thirty minutes. Office hours requests were sent primarily by email. We maintained a sign-up sheet by hand and sent out reminders ourselves. While office hours were open to the whole CJS community, the vast majority of appointments were with workshop participants. Ultimately, handling logistics on an institutional/administrative level would offer significant advantages over the relatively manual and largely email-based approach we used. Institutions should leverage known information about schedules, shifts, and contact methods, using existing lists or calendaring mechanisms to streamline RSVP and attendance. While some of these exist at CJS, better-documented and coordinated resources would have opened up substantially more time to focus on teaching-related activities.