Peer Instruction for Digital Forensics

Digital Forensics is a challenging field due to the mixture of computer science and law knowledge required. Combining these in a teachable format is challenging. The use of a traditional lectures for the conceptual preparation required for for hands-on digital forensics labs and exercises can be less than desired. William Johnson, Irfan Ahmed, Vassil Roussev from the University of New Orleans and Cynthia B. Lee from Stanford University examined the use of peer instruction for digital forensics educations. Peer instruction is a form of the “flipped classroom” approach to teaching. With peer instruction, students are expected to read some material before coming to class. The class is divided into a series of multiple choice questions. A question is posed to the class and they respond by selecting an answer; in this case with a clicker. If there is a question that confuses a majority of the students the instructor encourages the students to discuss their answers in small groups. The questions are designed to trigger conceptual thinking.

The paper presents a number of examples of how this can be applied to teaching in digital forensics. The concept was tested in a 4 hour class to a group of 12 students. In this test the approach appeared to be beneficial.


Johnson, W., Ahmed, I., Roussev, V., & Lee, C. B. (2017, August). Peer Instruction for Digital Forensics. In 2017 {USENIX} Workshop on Advances in Security Education ({ASE} 17). USENIX} Association}.