Creating a Networking Lab for Business Students

By Chilton, Michael A. | Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology, Annual 2005 | Go to article overview

Creating a Networking Lab for Business Students


Chilton, Michael A., Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology


Introduction

Responding to a recent query regarding the value of teaching networking in the college of business, I posed this simple (Socratic) answer: If you were a manager at a major corporation and needed to upgrade your networking capacity, would you be able to make an intelligent choice as to what router to purchase? When asked for more networking resources, can you understand and (more importantly) evaluate what your technical experts are telling you? Or are you simply taking what these experts tell you at face value and writing a check? More importantly, do you have the ability to distinguish between two or more technical solutions and compare their ability to meet the needs of the business? There are many scenarios we might imagine as extensions of this situation, but when the stockholders want to see maximum profits and reduced costs and the board of directors discovers a cash sink in the information technology department, it is the manager who must evaluate the choices being presented to him by his technical staff and make those decisions that have the greatest value to the organization, yet can be obtained and implemented at the least cost. These decisions involve making choices from among the technological alternatives presented to the manager, and they are decisions that any manager might be faced with because today's businesses operate using IT-reliant systems (Alter, 2003). The IS discipline includes networking because it is only through a connected system that users can interface with the back end applications and databases. But are we training our business students correctly in this critical area? While the answers to this question are still out and will be for some time, this paper introduces a networking lab whose pedagogy focuses on this important issue. Activities conducted by students in the lab helps them learn how to mesh the underlying needs of the business with the technical issues that affect resource acquisition, replacement, maintenance and administration as the networking infrastructure grows.

There are several obstacles to overcome in order to create an effective networking lab. The first is cost. Because the technology is not cheap, acquiring the necessary hardware and software and maintaining it may prove to be prohibitive for some institutions. Another obstacle is the effort required to prepare the lab and select the appropriate experiments. The experiments will affect the software and hardware needed in the lab and they must be selected so that they cover the subject adequately. They must also be pre-tested so that the time required to perform them is manageable and that any unanticipated problems the students might have as they work through them can be identified and dealt with prior to the students beginning work. Lab manuals that cover the important topics for business students are few and far between, and so additional effort may be required in creating these experiments from scratch. The currency of the technology is yet another obstacle that affects decisions regarding the lab. That is, is the hardware and software that we utilize the most current? How current does it need to be? Does it have the right mix of functionality to be able to demonstrate the concepts covered in the classroom? Although these issues can be significant impediments, they need not be prohibitive, and in fact can be overcome with some effort. If overcome, the result can be an effective networking lab that enhances both technical and managerial topics.

The purpose of this paper is to address these issues and describe a lab setting for networking for business students. The paper opens with a description of the lab setup as actually implemented. Business students must learn how to make decisions of IT acquisition, implementation and maintenance and so classroom presentation of the technical theory and concepts as they relate to business needs is discussed next. The issues of currency and cost are addressed within this discussion, because implementing a lab must be done with the idea in mind that it will soon become obsolete and will need to be updated and/or upgraded, and that either the initial acquisition and/or later updating and maintenance can be expensive. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Creating a Networking Lab for Business Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.