ISSN : 1796-203X
Volume : 3    Issue : 3    Date : March 2008

Content-Based Computer Simulation of a Networking Course: An Assessment
Giti Javidi and Ehsan Sheybani
Page(s): 64-72
Full Text:
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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
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.

Index Terms
Network Communications, Simulation, Virtual Lab, Matlab.