1) We write a ton of custom software for our classes and that investment is seen in higher rate of students actually learning the content. Case in point, Matias wrote an amazing web application for our web crypto class explaining how ECB, CBC and Padding Oracle worked (here's a look). They key seemed to be that the students could tinker around and add different values to see what effects were had on the algorithm. Students walked out of our class understanding the crypto concepts better than any other time we've taught this content.
2) Putting in the extra effort to make your applications look good is worth it. We decided to teach command injection (CMDi) as a proper module this year rather than just including it in our reference material so I had to write up new slides and new exercises. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. The student response to this exercise vs. one of the XSS exercises was pretty evident. My initial thought with XSS was that by keeping things as very simple HTML we could focus on the vulnerability but instead it detracted from the quality of the experience. That's going to get fixed.
3) Students in our classes are happiest with their fingers on keyboards. The first two modules we teach are open source information gathering (OSIG) and versioning. In OSIG we spend a lot of time talking about methods to find vhosts, Google dorks, and other methods to find out information about the sites being assessed. Versioning is exclusively about determining the version of installed CMS's and webservers. We taught these in a more lecture heavy style and it was our #1 complaint amongst students. I think the information is important and spot on but we need to re-do how we teach it.
5) Test your exercises in the environment you're presenting them in! I made the mistake of testing from a development laptop rather than from a student's laptop and the minor differences became embarrassing. Also make sure to fully test each of your exercises and their solutions, just because something worked last time doesn't mean it will work this time in this environment. Since we did a scoring system our new rule is that before the class we will beat each exercise and challenge until our demo student receives a perfect score.
6) Students tend to appreciate the little things. Our classes are typically catered, at Infiltrate we did breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Asking the students how the food was and if there was any dietary restrictions we should meet went a long way, I had a few students go out of their way to thank us for doing this.
7) Lastly is general collection
Many thanks to the following hombres/hombrettes (alpha order): Alfred, Carissa, Dave, Linda, Ray, Vanessa and the conference staff at the Fontainebleau