Synchronized pair configuration in virtualization-based lab for learning computer networks

Chaknarin Kongcharoen, Wu Yuin Hwang, Gheorghita Ghinea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

More studies are concentrating on using virtualization-based labs to facilitate computer or network learning concepts. Some benefits are lower hardware costs and greater flexibility in reconfiguring computer and network environments. However, few studies have investigated effective mechanisms for using virtualization fully for collaboration. Therefore, this study proposed one effective collaboration mechanism-synchronized pair configuration-in a virtualization-based lab and aimed to enhance interaction and collaboration between paired students to help them accomplish networks or systems configuration through one shared, synchronized terminal, which allows them to input commands simultaneously from two computers to accomplish tasks. Meanwhile, they can communicate through a chat window. In the experiment, university students were divided into an experimental group, using a synchronized pair configuration for lab assignments, and a control group, with students completing lab assignments individually. Results indicated that the experimental group significantly outperformed the control group in learning achievement and had more confidence in their work; furthermore, the instructor's workload was reduced. Finally, findings of interviews and questionnaires revealed that the experimental group considerably enjoyed the proposed mechanism and system and had high motivation to use them. Therefore, synchronized pair configuration in a virtualization-based lab is suitable for learning computer networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-68
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Volume20
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Distributed cognition
  • Learning computer networks
  • Pair programming
  • Synchronized pair configuration
  • Virtualization

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