Using the Net to Teach about the Net:
An Experience in Giving Web-based Courses

abstract | author | presentation | paper

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.


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