Teaching the subject
of computer networks, including data communication protocols,
addressing, routing, as well as other fundamental concepts
in a web-based course is a challenging experience. It is quite
possible to have many wrong assumptions when the students
come from a computer science background.
The paper gives an overview and comparison on two different
courses in Computer networks. Although the audience and the
contents of both courses were different, they had several
things in common. The students in both courses were adults
with a definite, but slightly different, computer science
and networking background. While in the first course the participants
came from more then twenty different nationalities and its
running was distributed in twenty different countries, the
second one involved participants from a single country. The
topics of the “multinational” course were confined
to addressing, routing and troubleshooting in IP based networks.
The second one was actually a general course in Data communications.
The intention of the article is to present the overall experience
of teaching this type of courses in a web-based environment.
It enumerates the possible problems that might be encountered
during the courses. The discussion and the subsequent conclusions
are focused on the comparative study concerning the outcomes
and the results of the two courses.