CyberThon 2020 Sri Lanka - A new competition model to share Cisco NetAcad benefits

Due to COVID-19 , the operations of the country has been restricted for essential duties and all the educational institutes have closed temporary on 2nd week of March 2020. As per the year plan for the Country, Cisco Networking Academy has announced the student competition for year 2020 on 1st of April. It was Cisco "NetAcad Learn-A-Thon". According to the competition guidelines, Cisco NetAcad instructors have to promote 'Introduction to Cybersecurity' course to their students on the given time period (till 30th April 2020). As benefits, students will get basic cybersecurity knowledge with a digital badge to prove the completion of the course in their respective communities and instructors who have enrolled highest number of students got recognition awards from Cisco.

CyberThon 2020 - The extension to Learn-A-Thon

I tuned a new approach to bring more value to this approach in that tensed situation while most of the educational services have stopped their operations due to COVID-19 pandemic situation. In that situation, if we could occupy students to more educational works, that could change their routine, restricted daily operations and get some benefits out of that 'stay at home' time period. Therefore, I added two more competition steps and extended the time period for students who were joining to Learn-A-Thon under my supervision with the localized re-branding of Learn-A-Thon to CyberThon 2020.

CyberThon 2020 Competition Structure

In my CyberThon Competition structure, I have introduced 03 levels and in the final level, students will get the opportunity to study CyberOps course. My promotional platforms were Facebook and LinkedIn. More than 220 students have enrolled to the Level 01 and they were from different backgrounds with different knowledge levels. Most of them were not my past students and it was a good community sample to analyse many things. out of total number of enrollments, more than 55% were eligible to move to Level 02. Though I have planned to give chance to top 100 students, I have decided to give the opportunity to all of them.

In Level 02, I made few changes to the default learning process of Cybersecurity Essentials with Chapter prerequisites and completion requirements and more than 10% have completed the level 02 after 04 days of enrollment.

With this experience, I felt that the value addition and localization of NetAcad events will make great impact than standard approach.