LAN-Designer: A Software Tool to Enhance Learning and Teaching Server-Based LAN Design

LAN-Designer: A Software Tool to Enhance Learning and Teaching Server-Based LAN Design

Nurul I. Sarkar (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2005040107
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Abstract

Until recently, it has been difficult to motivate students to learn about server-based local area network (LAN) design because students find the subject very technical, dry, and boring. A software tool (named LAN-Designer) has been developed at the Auckland University of Technology that gives students an interactive, hands-on experience in server-based LAN design. LAN-Designer is suitable for classroom use in introductory-level courses in server-based networking. This article describes LAN-Designer and its effectiveness as an aid to teaching and learning about LAN design. The effectiveness of LAN-Designer has been evaluated both formally by students (student evaluation forms) and informally through discussion within the teaching team. The conclusions drawn are based on survey data collected from students. The feedback from students indicates that the development and implementation of LAN-Designer were successful. The article concludes by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of LAN-Designer and its future development. The impact of LAN-Designer on students’ performance is also discussed.

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