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The real experiment eXecution approach to networking courseware

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4 Author(s)
M. Chirico ; Networking Competence Center, Genoa Univ. ; F. Giudici ; A. Sappia ; A. M. Scapolla

Courseware development and delivery represent one of the main topics of present research activities in the field of computer assisted learning (CAL). New educational technologies have been driven by the improvement in computer network capabilities that address client-server dynamics, access mechanisms and network services. Furthermore, multimedia authoring tools, the World Wide Web and the Java programming paradigm are leading to the creation of new and effective didactic environments. In this scenario, particular attention must be paid to the learning design process, since students can learn better when they are stimulated by a high level of interactivity and they can follow a personal way to learn. In this paper, a new approach to Web-based courseware development is presented: the Real Experiment eXecution (REX) approach. The proposed approach is well-suited to the development of courseware in the field of computer science. Following the REX approach, it is possible to integrate into the courseware a high degree of interaction since, instead of simulation activity, real experiments are carried out through the execution of operations. The Java programming paradigm allows the execution, control and monitoring of these operations. The authors present a courseware prototype, featuring network services and protocols, where the students are introduced to the use of the FTP service. They start a file transfer session and execute typical commands. The system traces the generated network traffic and lets the students analyze and understand the results of the ongoing software experiments

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 4 )