Instructional InitiativesΒΆ

We develop and utilize our own materials for teaching computer networking foundations with a strong focus on lower layer fundamentals and functional protocol observations in a lab environment. Our course modules include content for basic networking, network programming, network troubleshooting, and cybersecurity in the network layer.

Our instructional environment includes in-person lectures, thorough written content for asynchronous consumption, and a real-time lab environment utilizing our SDI testbed for both prepared labs and free-form student exploration. We provide real-time evaluation through an automated exercise feedback mechanism to students, as well as a rich framework for instructors to employ per-student quizzes and exams with automatic grading.

We use Jupyter Notebooks to conduct our hands-on labs with automated evaluations of learning objectives. The course materials are composed of:

  • Documentation with description of concepts in html and pdf documents that are continuously maintained with textual updates and new content
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The lab experiment instructions as well as concept descriptions are in web form to provide detailed explanations, easy navigation capabilities, and continuous updates for new content

  • Flow charts of protocol behavior at specific network vertices in a wide variety of topology graphs
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Easy-to-follow process flows provide useful reference material as students work through exercises and become comfortable with protocol details

  • Laboratory experiments that illustrate protocol behavior in a hands-on environment
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The lab notebooks provide the medium for effective note-taking along with protocol observations

  • Exercises with instantaneous feedback on performance
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Dynamically-generated and automatically-graded exercises are available for both instructor evaluation and student self-evaluation and practice

  • Back-end data collection on student learning activities for instructional research and course management