EDSIGCON Proceedings 2019

Cleveland, Ohio

Conference Highlights

2019 EDSIG Proceedings - Abstract Presentation

Best Practice of Active Learning in Teaching Computer Networking Theory

Li-Jen Yu Lester
Sam Houston State University

Best Practice of Active Learning in Teaching Computer Networking Theory Li-Jen Lester, Sam Houston State University, lester@shsu.edu Subject Area: Abstracts
The word of “theory” seems easily leading students to a passive mode of learning when the “theory” of a subject is the main objective of the course. In the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM), the best practices of learning is to process the information effectively by carrying out reflection externally as well as internally. This study focuses on how to implement active learning pedagogy to create a learner-centered environment in the Computer Networking Theory course for spring semester in 2019. A total of 31 students formed six discussion groups. For each teaching module, the small groups participated in discussion and worked on the worksheet together by following three basic active learning formats: individual exercise, small-group exercise, and Think-Pair-Share discussion. Active learning for this course-related modules required students to discuss the concept and resolve the given problems, instead of watching and listening to a lecture and taking notes. At the end of the semester, a focus-group discussion shared the evaluation from this active learning pedagogy. The outcomes of this discussion identified three areas of expectations: Do, Stop, and Continue. The “Do” suggestions were that the learning management system should include all classroom exercises materials and references offered in the classes. Surprisingly to report that the “Stop” area suggested, “Don’t stop doing what the course has been delivered from this semester!” This led to a great discussion of the “Continue” part, which students would like to continue receiving the following formats: providing syllabus with a clear concept map, updated schedule, uploaded lecture note and worksheet, scheduled review day, and giving the group exercises with Think-Pair-Share. At the end of the discussion, students expressed their appreciation by saying that “Continue to be an awesome professor!” This active learning practice in teaching Computer Networking Theory showed that how student learned in small steps, followed by activities to retrieve what was just taught, and integrate it with previously learned materials. This pedagogy will be implemented again for spring semester in 2020. A further investigation in this study will continue to create the best practices in a Case Study.

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Recommended Citation: Lester, L. Y., (2019). Best Practice of Active Learning in Teaching Computer Networking Theory. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2019) n.5008, Cleveland, Ohio