Applied Cryptography

An introduction to symmetric key, and public key cryptography as well as hashing and digital signatures

Applied Cryptography


  1. Symmetric Key Cryptography
  2. Public Key Cryptography
  3. Hash Functions
  4. Digital Signatures and PKI

This content was developed as part of a project called Catalyzing Computing and Cybersecurity in Community Colleges (C5) and was funded by a National Science Foundation Grant #1548315.


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Learn by Doing Approach

The Codio implementation of the Applied Cryptography C5 module includes adaptations of the labs allowing students the ability to try out concepts in a hands on way.  Each lab is followed by assessment items, half of which are auto-graded. The end of each topic includes a more extensive auto-graded assessment.

Videos of CyberSecurity Professionals

Dispersed throughout the conceptual material are "A Day in the Life" videos which help students visualize what a career in cybersecurity looks like. These videos also ground these high level concepts in real world applications.

C5 Module Description

"The Applied Cryptography module aligns with Learning Outcomes in the NSA "Introduction to Cryptography" knowledge unit, which includes identifying the elements of a cryptographic system; describing the differences between symmetric and asymmetric algorithms; and describing which cryptographic protocols, tools, and techniques are appropriate for a given situation.Aligns with Learning Outcomes in the Information Assurance and Security (IAS) knowledge unit of the ACM Computer Science Curricular GuidelinesAligns with the Learning Objectives and Essential Knowledge Statements in the AP CSP framework, Big Idea 6: The Internet"— C5 Modules

Auto-Graded Assessments

Each auto-graded assessment provides feedback to both the student and teacher about students mastery of the material. Codio collects analytics on each of these assignments allowing teachers of large classes to visualize their students performance.

Animations to Illustrate Main Concepts

As main concepts are introduced, short animations accompany text to illustrate how they work. 

“Students who learned applied cryptography using Codio learned more than the students who learned in the ‘traditional’ way.”

"Codio provided the best seamless lab environment that students had encountered and their reaction was overwhelmingly positive.”

— 2019 3CS Summit

Read more about the 2019 3CS Summit


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