|dc.description.abstract||Over the last ten years, there was a big shift in teaching network at universities, from theory-driven way with limited facilities for supporting learner in practicing to practice-driven way like e-learning and flipped classroom. In computer network teaching, at the beginning of this change, simulation software such as Packet Tracer were applied in teaching to simplify complication of setting up lab system. These simulations have proved the effect on teaching for a long time, while network technologies were at beginning of the dawn. But due to the rapid developing of data-processing demand, the network architecture must change to adapt. In turn, new solutions like Software-defined Network (SDN), Software-defined Everything (SDx), Virtualization, etc., appear as alternative answers for new network architecture generation. Software-defined networking (SDN) technology is an approach to efficient network management that allows to configure network programmable in order to improve network performance. Furthermore, dynamic monitoring and flexible change to adapt network traffic condition making it more powerful like cloud computing than traditional network management, and “SDx” is a term mentioning to any physical item or function that can be performed as or automated by software. This change leads to the requirement of changing the way in teaching and learning network technology. On the one hand, teachers need alternative teaching way that can help student not only learn network knowledge and configuration but also foster them to achieve high level cognition like network design and network management. On the other hand, collaborative mechanisms to help network design become real demands. This is obvious because students need good solutions that can adapt quickly with rapid changes of technology, and students’ exercises are not only what are written in textbook, but also to solve real scenarios in enterprise. In this study, we built a virtualized network lab, called NETLab that can bring students convenience in using, suitability in time managing, and flexibility in collaborating with their classmate. Our proposed approach might be a promising solution to the problem of lacking funding for purchasing hardware or difficulty in managing a large classroom and students interacting.
We conducted one experiment using NETLab with two groups: experimental group with collaborative mechanism and control group without. NETLab. This is a hybrid network lab system, the VMWare in the backend and the web-based terminal in the front. NETLab can support to set up an configure multiple network topologies for students to practice. They also can easily work remotely and collaborate to deal with complicated network design and practice. In the experimental group, students accomplished their assignment using NETLab together with chatting box for collaboration while control group performed assignment individually using web terminal without teamwork. After 8 weeks of experiment, according to the statistical results, the experimental group outperformed control group in post-test. Also, getting familiar with the NETLab system helped students in experimental group to perform better and better than control group. Besides, the student perception toward our proposed system was satisfied and showed it was useful to help them accomplish their assignment. Finally, most of students also showed they were highly prompt to use NETLab in the future.||en_US|