Advancing an Established Curriculum: Enhancing and Expanding Lab Exercises for the Network Protocols and Security Course

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2023-12
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La Van, Tracy L.
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Jacobson, Doug
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Abstract
This creative component project presents a comprehensive analysis and refinement of the CPR E 430/530 Network Protocols and Security course's laboratory exercises, focusing on enhancing student engagement and learning outcomes. Recognizing network security's dynamic and evolving nature, the project undertakes the task of revising existing lab exercises and aligning them with industry standards and pedagogical best practices. The revised labs are designed to provide hands-on, practical experience in network security, covering a range of topics essential for understanding the challenges in the field. These labs foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills crucial for real-world applications and balance guided instruction and independent exploration. The refined content emphasizes a deeper understanding of network protocols, security vulnerabilities, and mitigation strategies through detailed and structured exercises. This paper evaluates the strengths and areas for improvement of the revamped labs, reflecting on the challenges and successes encountered during the revision process. It highlights the impact of these pedagogical enhancements on student learning and engagement, underscoring the importance of continuously evolving course content to keep pace with the rapidly changing field of network security.
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2023