Using bloom's and Webb's taxonomies to integrate emerging cybersecurity topics into a computing curriculum

Mark A. Harris, Karen P. Patten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Recent high profile hackings have cost companies millions of dollars resulting in an increasing priority to protect government and business data. Universities are under increased pressure to produce graduates with better security knowledge and skills, particularly emerging cybersecurity skills. Although accredited undergraduate computing programs recognize the need to solve this problem, these computing programs are constrained by accreditation standards and have limited ability to modify their curricula. This paper discusses a case study on how one Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited undergraduate IT program created a strategy to continue to teach existing security-related topics as well as emerging cybersecurity topics within its IT curriculum without increasing credit requirements. The faculty developed an IT Security-related and Cybersecurity Curriculum Taxonomy to identify strategies to move security-related topics taught in the higher level courses to lower and intermediate courses. Thus emerging cybersecurity topics could be added to high-level courses. The faculty also created the IT Student Learning (Security-related) Taxonomy by combining Bloom's Taxonomy's six levels of thinking with Webb's Depth of Knowledge Model. This student learning taxonomy enabled the faculty to review the student learning outcomes for each of the existing security-related core topics and develop new ones for the emerging cybersecurity topics. Challenges, benefits, and application of this strategy to other disciplines are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-234
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Information Systems Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bloom's taxonomy
  • Curriculum design and development
  • Cybersecurity
  • Webb's depth of knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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