Content-Based Computer Simulation of a Networking Course: An Assessment

Javidi, Giti; Sheybani, Ehsan
March 2008
Journal of Computers;Mar2008, Vol. 3 Issue 3, p64
Academic Journal
This paper presents a successful lab simulation experience to teach signal modulation and demodulation concepts in communication and computer networks to computer science and computer engineering students. Two sections of the same college course with a total of 80 subjects participated in this study. After receiving the same lecture at the same time, the subjects in each course were randomly split into two treatment groups. One group completed two laboratory experiments using the computerized simulation program, while the other completed the same two laboratory experiments using the traditional physical laboratory equipments. Upon the completion of the laboratory assignments, the performance instrument was individually administered to each student. The groups were compared on understanding the concepts, remembering the concepts, and displaying a positive attitude toward the treatment tools. Scores on a validated Concepts Test were collected once after the treatment and another time after three weeks in order to gain some insight on students' knowledge retention. The validated Attitude Survey and qualitative study was administered at the completion of the treatment. The findings of this research indicate that conceptual simulation programs could be feasible substitute for hands-on exercises.


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