June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.885.1 - 11.885.10
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AN INTERNETWORKING REMOTE ACCESS LABORATORY Abstract Improving student learning outcomes in Information Technology programs often depends upon maximizing student access to technologies. Courses dealing with internetworking technologies – routing, switching, dialup – may be constrained by the use of simulation applications and their inherent functional limitations, or by the use of live equipment on- site with its inherent high cost and limited access to students. This paper describes the implementation of a remote access internetworking laboratory designed for the purpose of improving student learning outcomes through increased access to internetworking laboratory equipment. Technical planning, design, and implementation issues are examined along with the capabilities and limitations of this implementation. Student feedback from a pilot course is presented. Advantages and disadvantages of the implementation are addressed including scheduling of classes, routine maintenance, management of network topologies, and student access.
Introduction Because of budget constraints and the difficulty of having new degree programs approved by the state governing board, the Information Technology (IT) program began as an interdisciplinary program with support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, #DUE-9950085. This funding provided the required resources to establish a four-year articulated curriculum in computer networking with state community colleges.
Although funds were available to support the program, space was very limited. A 1600 sq. ft. facility was allocated to support the program; however, the space had to be used for lectures and laboratory exercises. In the process of developing the articulated curriculum, faculty identified 23 different courses that needed access to the facility. The network topology for the facility had to be highly configurable to support multiple network configurations. Figure 1 shows the design of the facility network topology using managed switches and Inter-VLAN routing.
Background Other constraints that impacted the program were vendor specific courses that had to be articulated. Specifically, the Cisco Networking Academy Program (CNAP) had to be articulated with eight different community colleges in the state. In addition to a four course sequence offered at the community colleges, an additional four course sequence was required because the four-year IT program included the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) program. Seven out of eight Cisco courses required use of the facility. Since Cisco content required high contact hours, a significant impact on course scheduling for the facility was created. When all courses were considered, almost no open laboratory time was available for students.
Houston, S., & Herrod, C., & Blesse, S. (2006, June), Lessons Learned From The Implementation Of An Internetworking Remote Access Laboratory Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--829
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