From ACM SIGCOMM educational resources

Workshop2011: Why simulate when you can experience?

Authors
Guillaume Jourjon Thierry Rakotoarivelo and Max Ott
Abstract
This paper discusses the advantages of using real experiments in networking lectures as opposed to simulation and tcpdump labs. Indeed, we claim that with the inclusion of networking to numerous curriculums the way to illustrate and assess in these courses need to evolve to better take advantage of the on-going research without limiting the top of the class students. In particular we identified five key challenges that needed to be addressed to improve networking education and bring it closer to reality. For that we present the Internet Remote Emulation Experiment Laboratory (IREEL) an e-learning platform designed and developed for the last 4 years. This platform allows the student to configure real network and application characteristics in order to illustrate key concepts of the lecture. In this context, we allow many improvements for labs or assignment in networking courses. IREEL has been previously used in introductory courses to networking and received very good rating by the student for the understanding of general and specific concept of the lecture.
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