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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Two challenges exist in the typical data communications course. First, most traditional students have had very little technical networking experience. Consequently, they lack a practical framework to synthesize all the detail contained in a basic data communications course. Second, the line speed formula taught in many courses is too simplistic to be practical. The formula does not include all the factors it should include such as the impact of noise or overhead, message processing or queuing time, or need to deal with multiple message types and lengths and with peak periods. Consequently, students receive the wrong impression. A great opportunity exists to improve student learning in the data communications class by using a much more complete formula and a method to incorporate the formula into a teleprocessing line speed decision support system. That can also provide the basis for several student projects to reinforce their learning of the many interrelated data communications topics. This paper presents the design of such a teleprocessing line speed decision support system as well as student outcomes in data communications courses.

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