The Open Networking Lab: Hands-on Vocational Learning in Computer Networking

Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Kear, Karen; Smith, Andrew; Jones, Allan; Rosewell, Jonathan; Donelan, Helen; Wermelinger, Michel; Sanders, Chris; Third, Allan and Connolly, Teresa (2018). The Open Networking Lab: Hands-on Vocational Learning in Computer Networking. In: IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 3-6 Oct 2018, San Jose, California, USA.


An increasingly connected society demands people who can design, set up, monitor and maintain networks of computers and devices. Traditional classroom instruction cannot keep pace with demand, and networking hardware costs can be too high for widespread classroom use. This paper presents the Open Networking Lab, a new UK initiative for supporting hands-on vocational learning in computer networking. The Open Networking Lab will facilitate the development of introductory practical networking skills without using hardware, through the provision of a web-based network simulation package integrated into learning resources and activities. These learning resources will be evaluated by students and lecturers from a cluster of Further Education colleges in the UK and will subsequently be made available to learners worldwide via free and open courseware.

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