June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Computing & Information Technology
Creating, supporting, and administering online laboratory experiences has become important in the pedagogy of learning environments for online networking courses. A case study is presented for an online laboratory environment used in a fundamental network security course that covers the competencies of the CompTIA Security+ certification. The online lab environment consists of virtual machines connected in an isolated virtual network managed by VMware vCloud Director. This laboratory environment is used for both online and face-to-face courses offered during the same semester. The emphasis in this case study is the support provided to the students and the continuous improvement cycle used by instructors to improve the educational experience. Challenges facing the students include both problems with the technical aspects of the virtual environment (e.g. corrupted virtual machine files, virtual environment slowdown due to heavy loads, excess resource consumption by misconfigured virtual machines), and also questions about the academic material being taught (e.g. why an error message is being given after a specific instruction). Several methods are used to provide support to the students including discussion boards, online video conferencing, announcements and instructions provided via the learning management system, individual emails, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings. Each of these methods of communication will be examined and feedback from students via a survey will be presented. The challenges of keeping laboratory exercises working and up-to-date will be examined and a list of suggested best practices for providing online support for students will be given.
Omar, T., & Lunsford, P. J. (2017, June), Networks Security Lab Support: A Case Study for Problems Facing Distance Education Programs Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28702
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