A vendor neutral local area networking course

Liles, Samuel “A vendor neutral local area networking course” American Society for Engineering Education 2005 Illinois-Indiana Sectional Conference (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA April 1-2, 2005)


The successful execution of a local area networking course that meets the first objective of a vendor neutral environment and does not require substantial infrastructure is an important goal. The second objective to be met with a vendor neutral laboratory course is teaching the fundamentals of local area networking in an open and exciting atmosphere of discovery. There is a particular set of laboratory exercises that can support a course environment that meets such diverse objectives. Having those laboratory exercises vendor and teaching text neutral becomes a challenging endeavor.

The details of the laboratory exercises examine the overall objective of the laboratory requirement, the high level view of the course information, and basic set up information for the laboratory exercises. Each laboratory exercise should have a specific set of outcome based objectives that map to the course level within the curriculum, the laboratory objectives should map to the course correctly, and the topics should assist in building the steps of the course. All of this meshing of objectives to curriculum is done in a vendor neutral environment while exposing students to the concepts of local area networking that can be applied to all vendor devices. The basics of the laboratory local area networking course include such diverse topics as cabling, TCP/IP, switching on the local area network, broadcast devices, and planning. The laboratory course introducing local area networking builds upon previous theory courses, and then continues to build upon each laboratory experience within the course.

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