Evaluating a Remote Access Networking Laboratory as a Learning Environment

S. Kinnari, A. Suhonen, J. Harju, and K.-J. Räihä (Finland)


Remote access networking laboratory, courseware design


A remote access networking laboratory is a learning environment for studying communications engineering. The obvious benefits of such environments include the possibility for higher utilization of this expensive resource by sharing the laboratory equipment among several local and remote units, and the flexibility that it may provide for the students who can access the laboratory e.g. from their residence. However, the pedagogical point of view is sometimes forgotten. In this study, we compared the students’ learning experience both in a traditional networking laboratory (two different cases) and in a unique remote learning environment, the Finnish SpiderNet. The students’ strategies for co-operation and for solving complex tasks were observed. Students developed different strategies in understanding the functioning of the network. The ways that students reflect their own working methods, their motivation and their capability to transfer the knowledge gained during the assignments were asked using open questions. The goal was to analyze how these students would manage in a remote learning environment without the on-line help of the course assistant. Results of both the observations and the survey are presented. Based on the observations, guidelines for developing the teaching in remote networking laboratories and for supporting the learning process are provided.

Important Links:

Go Back