Miniproject-Based Learning as an Effective Tool for Teaching Computer Networks to Graduate Students

Miniproject-Based Learning as an Effective Tool for Teaching Computer Networks to Graduate Students

Nurul I. Sarkar (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand) and Krassie Petrova (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2009010101
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Abstract

This article reports on the experience of using the technique of miniproject-based learning (MPBL) as a key pedagogical method for teaching advanced computer networks within the context of a Master’s programme. A two-threaded approach was adopted. The MPBL thread within the course allows the students to gain practical experience and a deeper understanding of the key concepts of network protocols and technologies. The lecture thread uses face-to-face teaching, group discussion and class presentations to allow students to develop better communication and presentation skills. The effectiveness of MPBL approach has been evaluated extensively formally by students and by an external moderator, and informally in discussion within the teaching team. The implementation of the MPBL was judged to be successful because of the positive student and an external moderator feedback. Therefore, the authors propose that MPBL is a suitable pedagogical tool for the teaching of advanced computer networks to graduate students.

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