Toward an Engaging Hands-on Environment for a Beginning Networking and Security Class
This paper describes an active learner-centered environment for an introductory computer networking and security class using a lab classroom. The classroom makes effective use of virtual machines running on workstations, real devices in a locally connected network/security lab, and a dedicated but Internet-connected subnet, to discuss and explain complex concepts of computer networking, offensive and defensive security. The objective of the class is to demonstrate that offensive security techniques, such as hacking and penetration testing, are ‘fun’ and intriguing, but defensive security practices, though rigorous and detail-oriented, effectively address the issues discussed in offensive security. The three parts of the course, networking, offensive and defensive security, thus complement one other to provide a comprehensive picture to the students.