An Innovative Lab Environment for Supporting Hands-On Networking Exercises to Distance Learning Students

J.T. Yu (USA)


Remote Labs, Distance Learning, Terminal Server


This paper presents an innovative approach to designing hands-on networking exercises to support Distance Learning (DL) students. The telecom and networking curriculum requires a balance of theory and practice where students strengthen their learning of the theory through hands-on exercises at network labs. Hands-on exercise, as the name implies, requires hands on network devices for provisioning, configuration, and trouble shooting. With the significant growth of the Distance Learning students, it becomes a challenge to offer hands on exercises to DL students. This paper presents three methods to address this need: (1) A Linux gateway for security control, (2) a terminal server for network device access, and (3) a web-based scheduling tool. The paper also discusses a major challenge which is technical support for the remote labs environment and presents solutions to address the challenge.

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