Integrating emerging topics through online team design in a hybrid communication networks course: Interaction patterns and impact of prior knowledge

Jana Reisslein, Patrick Seeling, Martin Reisslein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

An important challenge in the introductory communication networks course in electrical and computer engineering curricula is to integrate emerging topics, such as wireless Internet access and network security, into the already content-intensive course. At the same time it is essential to provide students with experiences in online collaboration, which is common in the engineering workplace, and to allow both on-campus and distance learning students to actively and jointly participate in class activities in hybrid on-campus/distance education course offerings. To address these challenges in the introductory communication networks course at Arizona State University, the authors have developed an online team design project in which students collaborate via a team website on a design project related to an emerging communication networks topic. The online team design project was evaluated with a thematic analysis of the interactions on the team websites, topic-specific pre- and posttests, and an attitudinal student survey. It was found that the online team communication was to a large extent devoted to managing the team and the project and that the students had overall very positive attitudes toward the project. Both students with lower and higher levels of prior project-related knowledge achieved approximately the same learning gain in terms of increased scores from pretest to posttest in the project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-165
Number of pages21
JournalInternet and Higher Education
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Asynchronous communication
  • Communication networks course
  • Emerging topics
  • Hybrid learning
  • Network security
  • Synchronous communication
  • Team design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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