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A Web-based remote interactive laboratory (RIL) developed to deliver Internetworking laboratory experience to geographically remote graduate students is presented in this paper. The onsite Internetworking program employs hands-on laboratories in a group setting that correlates with the constructivist and collaborative pedagogical approach. This paper discusses the pedagogical and technical considerations that influence the design and implementation of the remote laboratory environment given the constraints of the special hardware and learning outcomes of the program. For wide-ranging usability, the remote Internetworking (INWK) laboratory uses de facto networking standards and commercial and broad-band Internet connectivity to ensure real-time secure interaction with equipment. A four-tier role architecture consisting of faculty, local facilitators, remote facilitators, and students has been determined appropriate to maintain academic integrity and ensure good quality of interaction with the remote laboratory. A survey employing a five-point scale has been devised to measure the usability of the remote access INWK laboratory.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2005