About

The Open Networking Lab will make available introductory practical computer networking skills training, in order to service the needs of vocational learners (Further Education and Apprenticeship levels), educators, and industry. The project is carried out by the Open University Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and is funded by the Ufi Charitable Trust.

Relevant concepts and skills taught include:

  • Layer models of networks
  • IP addresses, subnet masks and routing protocols
  • Security
  • Diagnosing and locating network malfunctions
  • The training also will be accessible to novice learners considering technical qualifications and employment related to computer networking.

PT Anywhere is the underlying technology the project uses to teach networking concepts. The platform offers a network simulation environment via a web interface that can be accessed from any browser or as a widget inside an interactive eBook. PT Anywhere is based on the Packet Tracer network simulator for Windows and Linux developed by the Cisco Networking Academy.

On completion of the project, the training will be available through the Open University’s OpenLearn and award winning OpenSTEM Laboratory platforms.

News

11
Oct

The Open Networking Lab at the IEEE FIE 2018

Open Networking Lab

Blog post by Alexander Mikroyannidis The 48th IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) conference took place on October 3-6 in San Jose, California, USA. FIE is a major international conference sponsored by the IEEE Education Society and the IEEE Computer Society. It is an ideal forum for sharing ideas, learning about the latest developments and interacting with colleagues in the fields of...

21
Sep

Presentation at the ALT 2018 conference

Open Networking Lab

Blog post by Karen Kear & Andrew Smith Karen Kear and Andrew Smith went to the Association of Learning Technologies Conference (ALT-C) at Manchester University during early September 2018. The ALT has been established for 25 years as a community of learning technologists and engaged academics.   We presented on the progress of the Open Networking Lab (ONL) project and early data from...

20
Jun

Presentation at the CALRG annual conference

Open Networking Lab

Blog post by Jon Rosewell Jon Rosewell, on behalf of the Open Networking Lab team, gave a presentation at the Open University Computers and Learning Research Group (CALRG) annual conference. CALRG has been in existence at the Open University for 40 years and is one of the UK’s leading research groups in the use of technologies in education. Jon introduced the Open Networking Lab project...

13
Jun

From zero to hero – the challenge of bridging the internet technology knowledge gap!

Open Networking Lab

Blog post by Andrew Smith There are many excellent vocational learning programmes offering teaching material about programming, cyber security, database systems, computer systems maintenance, Internet of Things and network engineering. However, the challenge for vocational learning providers is seldom around content - there is plenty of resource available if providers opt into using it. The...

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Resources

The centrepiece of the Open Networking Lab is the network simulator PT Anywhere. PT Anywhere can be accessed on any web-browser (you can try it here), and allows learners to design, implement and run virtual communication networks that would otherwise require expensive hardware.

PT Anywhere representation of a simple internet-connected local area network (available to try here)

In a network like the one shown above, each component must be correctly configured. A PT Anywhere network is configured just as a ‘real’ network would be. When settings are applied correctly, the simulation behaves like a properly configured network. Data sent from one device to another will be received by the correct device. During configuration, PT Anywhere gives users feedback on how the network is functioning to aid troubleshooting and problem solving.

More advanced work will introduce students to network design. Large institutions, for example, typically have differently configured networks for online retail, real-time audio-visual traffic or teleworking. Each network typically requires particular properties, such as resilience, speed, remote access and security. Network-design skill is essential for the creation of networks and subnetworks for particular functions.

Links to the learning resources produced by the project will be added here as soon as they are published.

 

Team

Dr Karen Kear
Project Lead

Dr Karen Kear

School of Computing and Communications

Karen develops and presents courses in IT and Computing, specialising in the social and communication aspects of these subjects… read more

Mr Andrew Smith
Senior Lecturer

Mr Andrew Smith

School of Computing and Communications

I am focussed on the development of simulated learning resources in the delivery of networking technology, investigating the differences… read more

Dr Jon Rosewell
Senior Lecturer

Dr Jon Rosewell

School of Computing and Communications

Jon Rosewell is a Senior Lecturer at the UK Open University where he has developed and delivered distance learning courses in a range of subjects… read more

Dr Allan Jones
Senior Lecturer

Dr Allan Jones

School of Computing and Communications

Allan Jones’s research centres mainly on the history and social context of science and technology… read more

Dr Helen Donelan
Senior Lecturer

Dr Helen Donelan

School of Computing and Communications

Helen studied Communications Engineering and Electronics at Liverpool University and then worked in the telecoms industry as a Design Engineer… read more

Dr Michel Wermelinger
Senior Lecturer

Dr Michel Wermelinger

School of Computing and Communications

Michel’s main theme of research is to mine open source repositories to improve the understanding and… read more

Dr Alexander Mikroyannidis
Research Fellow

Dr Alexander Mikroyannidis

Knowledge Media Institute

I have more than 10 years of research experience in the field of Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) and specifically… read more

Mr Chris Sanders
Systems Operator

Mr Chris Sanders

Knowledge Media Institute

I provide support for both the Systems and Network administration and Website development… read more

Dr Allan Third
Research Fellow

Dr Allan Third

Knowledge Media Institute

I’m interested in the use of semantic technologies and natural language semantics and generation to improve both intelligent… read more

Mr Nuno Guarda
Head of Corporate Affairs UK & Ireland

Mr Nuno Guarda

Cisco Systems Inc.

With over 20 years of experience in the ICT industry, he started his career as a higher education lecturer and developed… read more

Teresa Connolly
Research Associate

Mrs Teresa Connolly

School of Computing and Communications

Teresa has extensive professional experience in research and teaching in the areas of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Academic Practice, Educational Technology and Open Educational Resources (OER).

Alice Peasgood
Research Associate

Mrs Alice Peasgood

School of Computing and Communications

Alice designs and tests innovative digital education products, including mobile apps, online and blended learning… read more