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State Model Diagrams as a Pedagogical Tool—An International Evaluation

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2 Author(s)
Maj, S.P. ; Edith Cowan Univ., Mount Lawley ; Veal, D.

State model diagrams (SMDs) have been successfully used as the pedagogical foundation of network technology curriculum. SMDs selectively integrate relevant output from network devices by means of tables. SMDs are modular and hierarchical, thereby providing top-down decomposition by means of levelling, allowing a complex network to be partitioned or structured into independent units of an amenable size so that the entire system can be more easily understood. An overview of the entire network or increasing levels of detail may be obtained while maintaining links and interfaces between the different levels. Furthermore, SMDs allow technical detail to be introduced in an integrated and controlled manner, thereby supporting student learning at both introductory and advanced levels. In effect, as students progress they do not have to learn a new conceptual model; rather they can build upon and extend their existing knowledge. This paper evaluates the use of SMDs for teaching network technology to international students whose first language is not English. This study was further extended to include an evaluation of SMDs, as a teaching tool, by Cisco academics within the Asia/Pacific region.

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 2007

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