The breaches of Ashley Madison and Target customer databases in recent months have made cybersecurity a highly relevant topic. UCF College of Business Administration (#UCFBusiness) Lecturer Steven Hornik, Ph.D., is using a creative technological approach to keep his students engaged and thinking about this important issue.

Over the past year, he worked with graduate students in his Advanced Accounting Information Systems class to curate articles for a class publication, Cybersecurity, using Flipboard, a popular app and website for curating and sharing custom content collections in a magazine-like format.

“I believe in the power of technology to change the way we teach and learn. I thought Flipboard would be a great way for students to create their own content – and maybe take more ownership of it, because they could see what they were creating,” said Hornik.

Working with Aimee deNoyelles, Ed.D., and Baiyun Chen, Ph.D., of the UCF Center for Distributed Learning, he surveyed more than 100 students in the course to analyze how using Flipboard impacted their learning. A majority of students reported that using Flipboard increased their engagement with the material and encouraged them to participate more in class. Students using a mobile device read significantly more than those using a desktop or laptop computer.

Hornik hopes to take his findings to a global audience in March 2016 at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. His panel is up for consideration ( and would include Mia Quagliarello, head of curation and content strategy at Flipboard, as well as other colleagues from academia.

“Our goal is to inspire people around the world to read together, connect and share,” said Marci McCue, head of content and communications at Flipboard.

“Seeing educators like Dr. Hornik putting this vision into practice, using Flipboard to more deeply engage students in stories related to the class topics, is motivating to the entire team here. But the best part is that it leads to higher student participation and engagement, which can truly transform learning.”

Hornik is a lecturer in the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting, part of #UCFBusiness, and does research on the effectiveness of technology-mediated learning for training and higher education, as well as the social implications of technology. Previously he conducted research on using virtual worlds like Second Life in the classroom.