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Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)
Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Introduction and guidance

Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude Skills Training (GICAST) is an informal, introductory course for people who want to feel more confident about their online safety. This free online course will help you to understand online security and start to protect your ‘digital life’, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.

Part of this practice will be the weekly interactive quizzes. Completing the end-of-week quizzes will provide you an opportunity to earn a badge to demonstrate your new skills. You can read more on how to study the course and about badges in the next sections.

Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude Skills Training (GICAST) has several learning outcomes, describing what we hope you will achieve by the end of the course. After completing this course, you should have a better understanding of:

  • implementing a plan to protect your digital life
  • recognising threats to online safety
  • taking steps to reduce the risk of online threats
  • concepts including malware, viruses and Trojans
  • network security, cryptography and identity theft.

Interactive games and learning pathways

Each week of this course begins with an interactive game. It is recommended that you use a desktop/laptop computer to play the games in this course.

After completing the games, you will be advised on the learning pathway you should follow through the course. These are a recommendation only – you may choose to follow your own learning pathway and complete all sections, if you feel this will help you to complete the end of week quiz successfully.

Please note:

  • The Amber pathway includes the extended topics of the week.
  • The Green Pathway does NOT include the extended topics of the week.

Moving around the course

The easiest way to navigate around the course is through the ‘My course progress’ page. You can get back there at any time by clicking on ‘Back to course’ in the menu bar.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser. Likewise with the game at the start of each week – open this in a new window or tab, so you can easily navigate back to the study material after you complete the game.

Pre-course survey

Before you start, The Open University would really appreciate your participation in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Please note the survey will take 20 minutes to complete, but your answers are very valuable for us, as this survey is intended to find out if GICAST is having the intended impact on your learning. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

YouTube channel

A YouTube channel has been created with some supporting materials for this course, including a full demo of using the course, gaining a badge, and other cyber security news. You can find the channel here: GICAST YouTube channel (make sure to open the link in a new tab/window).