Development of a vendor practice-based distance based learning programme

Moss, Nicky; Seaton, Richard; Smith, Andrew and Williams, Keith (2013). Development of a vendor practice-based distance based learning programme. In: Gibbins, Lynda and Perkins, Glynis eds. Laboratories for the 21st Century in STEM Higher Education: A Compendium of Current UK Practice and an Insight into Future Directions for Laboratory-Based Teaching and Learning. Loughborough: Centre for Engineering and Design Education, Loughborough University, pp. 85–90.


The case study describes the methods used to provide laboratory activities, or their equivalents, to students pursuing Open University (OU) modules delivered by distance learning at undergraduate and postgraduate level in networking. The modules incorporate the study of Cisco Academy materials and prepare students for Cisco professional qualification exams as well as OU assessment for HE credit. Three modes of experimental activity are described:

1. Attendance at physical laboratories
2. Remote online access to equipment
3. Use of online simulation software.

The merits of each mode of operation are presented and discussed.

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