To enhance collaborative learning and practice network knowledge with a virtualization laboratory and online synchronous discussion

  • Wu-Yuin Hwang Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central University
  • Chaknarin Kongcharoen bDepartment of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Central Unive
  • Gheorghita Ghinea School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics ,Brunel University
Keywords: virtualization-based laboratory, online synchronous discussion, Collaborative learning, teaching networking concepts

Abstract

Recently, various computer networking courses have included additional laboratory classes in order to enhance students’ learning achievement. However, these classes need to establish a suitable laboratory where each student can connect network devices to configure and test functions within different network topologies. In this case, the Linux operating system can be used to operate network devices and the virtualization technique can include multiple OSs for supporting a significant number of students. In previous research, the virtualization application was successfully applied in a laboratory, but focused only on individual assignments. The present study extends previous research by designing the Networking Virtualization-Based Laboratory (NVBLab), which requires collaborative learning among the experimental students. The students were divided into an experimental group and a control group for the experiment. The experimental group performed their laboratory assignments using NVBLab, whereas the control group completed them on virtual machines (VMs) that were installed on their personal computers. Moreover, students using NVBLab were provided with an online synchronous discussion (OSD) feature that enabled them to communicate with others. The laboratory assignments were divided into two parts: Basic Labs and Advanced Labs. The results show that the experimental group significantly outperformed the control group in two Advanced Labs and the post-test after Advanced Labs. Furthermore, the experimental group’s activities were better than those of the control group based on the total average of the command count per laboratory. Finally, the findings of the interviews and questionnaires with the experimental group reveal that NVBLab was helpful during and after laboratory class.

Author Biographies

Wu-Yuin Hwang, Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central University
Wu-Yuin Hwang received his Ph. D. degree in computer science from National TsingHua University, Taiwan in 1997. He is currently a distinguished professor in the Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central University, Taiwan. He has published around 50 papers in several international journals related to educational technologies, indexed by SSCI, SCI and EI since 2000.  His current research interests include human computer interaction, E-learning, multimedia mind tools, and knowledge construction.
Chaknarin Kongcharoen, bDepartment of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Central Unive
Chaknarin Kongcharoen, He joined the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Central University, in September 2010, as a Ph.D student. He has published papers in major international computer science journals indexed by EI. From 2013. His research interests include laboratory-based learning, virtualization technology and Bayesian data mining.
Gheorghita Ghinea, School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics ,Brunel University
Gheorghita Ghinea is currently a Reader with the School of Information Systems and Computing, Brunel University, London, United Kingdom. He obtained the PhD degree from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. He has published over 150 peer reviewed articles in his fields of research interests, which span quality of service and multimedia resource allocation, perpetual aspects of multimedia, and computer networking and security issues.
Published
2014-08-15
How to Cite
Hwang, W.-Y., Kongcharoen, C., & Ghinea, G. (2014). To enhance collaborative learning and practice network knowledge with a virtualization laboratory and online synchronous discussion. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 15(4). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v15i4.1805
Section
Research Articles