On assessment and evaluation of teaching computer networks to electrical engineering students by the aid of a lab course

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Abstract

In the era of the Internet-of-everything, learning the principles of data communications and networking is inevitable for many electrical engineering disciplines. The paper addresses the effectiveness of teaching the fundamentals of data communications and networking using a dedicated lab course as a co-requisite to a classic lecture-based course. In the introduced lab course, the students are asked to do a variety of tasks using real hardware and a network simulator. The paper introduces quantitative measures of an outcomebased learning approach applied to both courses. Based on students’ achievements, the role of the lab course in the attainment of both the course learning outcomes and the electrical engineering program learning outcomes is measured in comparison with the case where the lab course is not taken. Our findings reveal a general enhancement trend in attaining the course and program learning outcomes with a significant increase in the program outcome related to solving engineering problems. Also, a slight increase is noticed in meeting the lab course outcomes for the students who attended the lab with the course in the same semester, which indicates an improvement in gaining practical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-402
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Technology and Science Education
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Computer networks
  • Electrical engineering
  • Lab
  • Learning
  • Outcome assessment
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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