About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3956-3961
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1054

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

COMBINING HANDS-ON AND VIRTUAL EXPERIMENTS IN COMPUTER NETWORKING COURSES

B. Pozdneev1, S. Sosenushkin1, F. Busina1, A. Ivannikov2, M. Sutyagin3, P. Ovchinnikov1, D. Popov1, A. Levchenko1

1Moscow State University of Technology «STANKIN» (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
2Federal State-Funded Institute of Science Institute for Design Problems in Microelectronics of Russian Academy of Sciences (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
3Gazprom Corporate Institute (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Modern IT education requires universities to develop various student competencies, allowing alumni easily apply the acquired knowledge and skills at their workplaces. The most efficient way to train skills is practice e.g. laboratory experiments. However, real hands-on experiments have significant costs in time and money, which are proportional to the number of students. One of the ways to solve this problem is virtualization. While decreasing costs and risks, a virtual lab removes distance barriers and enables equal access for different students groups.

Moscow State University of Technology "STANKIN" started replacing hands-on labs with virtual experiments in networking courses in 2011. This strategy enabled increasing the part of labs in the curriculum and led to an average improvement of students’ network engineering skills. However, the feedback from alumni discovered a serious lack of real network equipment usage experience.

A deeper research revealed, that virtual laboratory exercises are as effective as real ones while developing skills, but in some cases prevent students from gaining confidence in ability to use them themselves. Thus, the objective emerged to include some real hands-on labs in the virtual laboratory curriculum. This objective has no importance in training skills, but is crucial for the development of a confident ability to apply these skills in practice.

The new approach to the curriculum configuration is the combination of virtual (85%) and real hands-on (15%) labs. It combines all the advantages of virtual experiments and enables every student to receive real network device configuration and maintenance experience. Such a hybrid approach negates the core disadvantage of virtual lab usage at limited costs, but leaves the question of the most efficient real and virtual curriculum elements unresolved.

The obvious way to plan the required interchange of real and virtual lab exercises is the plain repeat of a successful virtual experiment on the real equipment during the next class. But the most efficient solution was found in another way of planning, when different groups of students perform different tasks in real, while others carry out the same tasks in virtual.

As a result of such a curriculum reorganization the professional confidence of the students ability to apply their skills greatly increased. The authors estimate nearly total removal of the problem by the future alumni.
@InProceedings{POZDNEEV2017COM,
author = {Pozdneev, B. and Sosenushkin, S. and Busina, F. and Ivannikov, A. and Sutyagin, M. and Ovchinnikov, P. and Popov, D. and Levchenko, A.},
title = {COMBINING HANDS-ON AND VIRTUAL EXPERIMENTS IN COMPUTER NETWORKING COURSES},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1054},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1054},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3956-3961}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Pozdneev AU - S. Sosenushkin AU - F. Busina AU - A. Ivannikov AU - M. Sutyagin AU - P. Ovchinnikov AU - D. Popov AU - A. Levchenko
TI - COMBINING HANDS-ON AND VIRTUAL EXPERIMENTS IN COMPUTER NETWORKING COURSES
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1054
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 3956
EP - 3961
ER -
B. Pozdneev, S. Sosenushkin, F. Busina, A. Ivannikov, M. Sutyagin, P. Ovchinnikov, D. Popov, A. Levchenko (2017) COMBINING HANDS-ON AND VIRTUAL EXPERIMENTS IN COMPUTER NETWORKING COURSES, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 3956-3961.
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