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Experimental Learning using Tool/Service Demonstration for Internetworking Protocol Course

Course: Internetworking Protocol

Class: Third Year

Department: Computer Science and Information Technology

Author: Prof. Ashwini B. Patil


Networking related courses like data communication, computer networks and internetworking protocol, are the core part of IT curriculum, such courses are hard to teach in class in theoretical aspect. There are various challenges while teaching such courses. As the data packets flowing in the real network are not visual, students are not able to correlate the concept learn in the class, to scenario in the real network. Only theoretical knowledge of networking related concepts is not sufficient. For better understanding of these course, Experimental Learning is best learning tool. Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”.

Classroom Challenges while teaching Internetworking Protocol course:

Different network protocols or services are having different

  • Packet formats (Message format for Query and Response message from client to server)
  • Installation and Configuration steps
  • Working Mechanism

So just by theoretical teaching in the class, the student cannot able to

  • Recall the concepts thought in class
  • Relate the concepts from book with real scenario in network
  • Remember packet (message format) of different network series
  • Install and configure the network services
  • Demonstrate the working of installed and configured service
  • Analyze the real packet in the network.

So traditional classroom teaching for networking courses is not suitable. Instead if that, Experimental Learning is very useful for better understanding of these courses.

I had used practical demonstration of network services along with demonstration of packet capturing and analysis tools (e.g wireshark, tcpdump  …) with the help of Concept Map.

Activities carried out in Experimental Learning

For, Internetworking Protocol course, I had used following activities

  • Concept Map
  • Installation-configuration-demo of network service
  • Demonstration of networking concept using modern tools
  • Tool Demo: Packet analysis using Wireshark, tcpdump etc.

Procedure of implementation

Following procedure is carries out for Experimental Learning,

Step 1: Group Formation of 3-4 students

Step 2: Topic allocation

Step3: Concept Map preparation of allocated topic

Step4: Installation-configuration of network service

Step5: Demonstration of concept map and configured service along with packet capturing and analysis Tool

Implementation Steps:

1. During lecture:

At the completion of every protocol in the lecture,

  1. Groups of 2-3 students get formed
  2. Each team have to prepare the concept map of topic taught in the class. (During map reparation, teacher will act as mentor to the team)
  3. Randomly few concept maps are discussed in the class.
  4. After discussion, correction are told to teams

2. Work given outside the classroom:

  1. Groups of 3-4 students get formed
  2. Topic are assigned to them for preparation of concept map on poster.
  3. Groups discussed to mentor and finalize the poster of concept map
  4. Each group have installed, configured the network service (either on Windows or Ubuntu OS)
  5. Each group have demonstrate how to make use of these network service.
  6. They have used Wireshark tool for live capturing the data packet while demonstration and analysed that captured packet by correlating packet format from book and actual content of packet.
  7. Report are prepared by students including
  • Description about topic or network service
  • How that network service works
  • Installation and configuration steps.
  • How to use the networks service.
  • Comparison of packet format with live data packet capture through Wireshark and Content analysis.

This reports was shared with other students through Moodle Server.

Students has installed and configured various network services like DHCP, DNS,TELNET, FTP, TFTP, SMTP…on both Windows and Ubuntu Operating System.

After configuration of network service, next step is to demonstration of how to use that network service .While demonstrating network service, students has to capture and show real communication packets between client and server.

This helps students to correlate the theory that they have learned in class with real network scenario.

Experimental learning helps students for better understanding of concepts and they can also use the concepts in the real life.

Case Study:

Here I am sharing one of the case study that how students demonstrated any network service by installing, configuration, demo of service with real packet capture.

Topic: File Transfer Protocol

Name of Students:

 Mr. Suryawanshi Nilesh , Ms. Ashtekar Asawari , Mr. Dalavi Shubham and  Ms. Patil Nikita R

This group has configured FTP service on Ubuntu and Windows

I) FTP Configuration Done by students on Ubuntu OS:

II) Network Service demo with real time packet capturing tool (Wireshark):

1. Accessing FTP server:

2. List Files from FTP server using ls :

FTP Commands exchanged between client and server are:

3. Download file from FTP server using get command:

4. Upload file on FTP using put command:

5. Change home directory to dir1:

6. Close FTP connection using quit command:

Each group has prepared the report of implementation and shared with other groups on Moodle. Activity based evaluation is done for this course. Following are the rubrics for evaluation:

Rubrics Sheet for Evaluation

Snaps of presentation:

Attainment of Course:

Fig.: Attainment of Year 2019-20 (Sem-I)

Experimental learning activity was helpful for CO2 and CO3, where students are expected to

  1. Illustrate working of different network protocol along with packet format
  2. Analyses the given real time packet and write their understanding
  3. Draw the real time packet based on given scenario.

Outcomes of Experimental Learning:

Students are able to,

  • Apply the knowledge for real problems
  • Remember the concept easily
  • Correlate the theoretical concepts to real scenario i.e Links theory to practice
  • Enhance practical implementation.
  • Become an active learner
  • Work in team
  • Develop their communication and presentation skill
  • Use any modern tools
  • Encourages collaboration and exchange of ideas and perspectives.
  • Develop the skills for lifelong learning


Experimental Learning is the best learning methodology for the networking courses like data communication, computer Networks, Internetworking Protocols. Hands-on-experience given real exposure to the students for better understanding of such courses.