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Volume 19 / Issue 7

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-019-07-0912


PETs at CSCL Service: Underutilised Potentials for Privacy Enhancing Distance Education

Mohamed Bourimi (University of Siegen, Germany)

Dogan Kesdogan (University of Siegen, Germany)

Marcel Heupel (University of Siegen, Germany)

Dhiah el Diehn I. Abou-Tair (German Jordanian University, Jordan)

Niki Lambropoulos (University of Patras, Greece)

Abstract: Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) support is currently widely accepted to provide reliable and valid formal and informal educational practices as proven to benefit students in onsite as well as distant educational settings. However, some results from case studies indicate that privacy problems could negatively affect CSCL implementation in educational settings. Privacy Enhancing Technologies research (PETs) and the development of multilaterally secure systems are still limited research topics within CSCL due to diverse reasons. Based on deep related literature analysis and previous research results conducted by the authors in building CSCL systems, three main categories were identified for such reasons that have an impact in PETs and multilateral security research: lack of awareness of such PETsÂ’ existence; lack of knowledge on ways to efficiently integrate them in CSCL systems and settings; and reluctance to consider their multilaterally secure implementation by CSCL participations due to conflict of interests (e.g. explicit students monitoring requirements, high integration costs, etc.). In this paper, these categories are addressed and the PETs potential is discussed for overcoming the associated emerging drawbacks focused on the distance education CSCL settings in particular. The result of our research is an integrated framework considering multilateral security requirements. Furthermore, proof of concept is provided; enhanced privacy in such settings is applied by demonstrating the fulfilment of selected improvements areas (i.e. mainly network, application anonymity, and process support for resolving potential multilateral security conflicts) in an existing collaborative distance education system.

Categories: H.4.1, K.3.1, K.6.m, K.8.m