Title: Development of a self-study and testing function for NetPowerLab, an IP networking practice system

Authors: Nobukazu Iguchi

Addresses: Department of Informatics, School of Science and Engineering, Kindai University, 3-4-1 Kowakae, Higashiosaka 577-8502, Japan

Abstract: It is important for beginning network engineering students to frequently practice setting up fundamental IP networks according to predetermined procedures. To provide an IP network learning environment, we have been developing NetPowerLab, a hands-on IP network practice system that uses virtual machines. Here, we report the development of a self-study support function consisting of three tools: practice problem making, automatic scoring, and learning activity management. Teachers can create practice problems using the practice problem making tool. The automatic scoring tool compares the configuration files created by students with those created by teachers. This tool displays results as a percentage of correct answer and provides details about incorrect items. The learning activity management tool allows students to review their learning activities and enables teachers to assess student learning activities. The self-study support function allows students to engage self-guided training and testing. The proposed system was evaluated experimentally in a classroom environment. The practice problem making tool was also evaluated by teachers. The results indicate that the self-study support function performed sufficiently.

Keywords: IP networking practice; hands-on practice; virtual router; virtual machines; self-study; self-guided training; testing functions; network engineering; practice problem making; automatic scoring; learning activity management; student learning; internet protocol; undergraduate networking courses; computing education; higher education; routing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSC.2014.066034

International Journal of Space-Based and Situated Computing, 2014 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.175 - 183

Received: 02 Sep 2013
Accepted: 17 Jul 2014

Published online: 28 Nov 2014 *

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