State Model Diagrams for Teaching Networking – a SOLO Based Evaluation

  •  Stanislaw MAJ    
  •  Kazu Ohtsuki    
  •  Toru Akamatsu    
  •  Steve Mackay    


The Cisco Network Academy Program is the world’s largest network technology curriculum with over 500,000 students’ worldwide. An analysis of this curriculum found that it did not provide students with a diagrammatic model that is consistent throughout the curriculum. Without such a model students develop their own which is likely to be incomplete, inconsistent and incorrect. State Model Diagrams (SMDs) were designed to address this problem. SMDs allow networking concepts and technical detail to be taught using a single common diagram. Research has clearly demonstrated that SMDs considerably improve student learning at both introductory and advanced levels.  As a diagrammatic technique SMDs are potentially language independent – an important aspect of any global curriculum. This paper investigates this hypothesis and using a learning taxonomy further evaluates SMDs as a pedagogical method for teaching network technology.

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