Facilitating Network Technology Training in the Australian Vocational Education Sector

  •  James McIlwain    
  •  Owen McIIwain    
  •  Stanislaw Maj.    


Within the Australian Further Education sector for lecturers in the IT field it is not uncommon to use vendor based curriculum. The advantages to this approach are that students can graduate not only with a national award (Certificate or Diploma) and also an internationally recognized vendor qualification. Furthermore, the larger vendors supply comprehensive course materials, resources and assessment tools all of which have been extensively tested. In effect lecturers do not have to write their own course materials. Whilst it is recognized that lecturers may well facilitate student learning the quality of the educational outcomes is highly dependent on the quality of the vendor based materials. In the case of the Cisco Network Academy Program (CNAP) course materials did not provide a consistent diagrammatic representation of networking devices and protocols. Educational theory strongly suggests that such a model is the basis of quality teaching and learning. In this study student learning was evaluated using the State Model Diagram (SMD) method and the interpreted using the SOLO taxonomy. The results clearly demonstrate that there are considerable advantages to using the SMD method.

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