INQUIRY BASED LEARNING UNIT

                                       MidEast Ohio
                                       Tech Prep Consortium

                                       Zane State College
                                       High School or College

Unit Title: Comprehensive Local Area Network Design_______

Author(s): Will Bailey__________________________________

Career Technical Field: Information Technology____________

Pathway: ____________________________________________

Date of Original Unit: January 3, 2009_____________________

Date of Revision: _May 12, 2009__________________________

Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                            1
Essential/Driving Question              (provide a central focus for student inquiry)

How would a team design a local area network (LAN) that best meets a client's needs?

Critical Questions
How can the client’s requirements for a LAN be determined?

How can the cost of the implementation be a prohibitive factor over a superior design?

Should an existing LAN be upgraded or replaced?

What are some of the potential roadblocks to successfully implementing a LAN design?

What standards for LAN design need to be met?

What questions should be asked of the client?

Unit Description          (write a brief description that encompasses all content and outcomes)

The team, composed of 3-4 students, will determine a client’s needs for a local area network

(LAN). The team will then complete the research required to design the LAN such that the

client’s needs are either met or exceeded. The team will then present their design to the

client. Each team member will be responsible for completing part of the design, as

determined by: the client’s needs, sound LAN design criteria, and the team members.

Documentation of the design is critical for successful completion of the unit. This

documentation can be presented in the form of a 3-ring binder with copies of their documents

with a CD/DVD containing electronic copies OR a Web site that contains copies of their

documents; however, the web site must include means for downloading electronic copies of

their files.

Entry Event (define how the problem will be introduced so that it provides authenticity)
A scenario will be introduced to the students (either by the instructor who is playing the role

of a client or by a representative from business/industry). During this introduction, the basic

considerations of the local area network (LAN) design will be discussed, a potential budget,

Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                          2
points of contact from the client, as well as a preliminary timeline for project completion.

Methods of communication will be determined (e-mail will be required; any other method(s)

will be at the team’s and client’s discretion). This discussion will challenge the students to

ask critical questions regarding the importance of a stable LAN. The scenario will be limited

in scope to those found in small to medium sized business environments.

Sample Entry Event:

“Mr. Bigboss addresses the design team during their initial meeting. He presents them
with the initial design criteria for the much needed local area network for his company
which consists of approximately sixty employees in three locations spanning a distance
of 100 miles. The design must accommodate a bandwidth of 100 Mbps, with plans to
handle 1000 Mbps. The infrastructure must meet industry standards including a
wireless network capable of handling at least IEEE 802.11g and possibly 802.11n (if
budget permits). The existing computing hardware is mostly Windows XP Professional;
however, some Windows Vista Business installations are present as well as a couple
legacy stations running Windows 98 SE. Mr. Bigboss emphasizes the need to maintain
business continuity during the installation phase of the project and a need to offer
several employees the option to work from their homes. He provides several points of
contact for questions that the design team may have in the near future that include both
technical and non-technical employees and states that the design must be completed
within four weeks in order to begin the installation during a scheduled maintenance
downtime that affects most of the organization.”

Career Field Technical Content Standards                  (5 to 6 that you plan to assess)

Competency 16.5: Analyze the computer site environment

Competency 16.9: Identify and describe connectivity devices

Competency 18.9: Demonstrate knowledge of IP addressing schemes

Competency 19.1: Demonstrate knowledge of the basics of network architecture

Competency 22.4: Perform network analysis, selection, and design

Competency 22.5: Perform network installation procedures

Competency 22.6: Perform network operation procedures

Competency 24.1: Implement secure network management activities and procedures

Competency 25.2: Design and implement a wireless network solution

Competency 29.4: Design an information system

Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                         3
Academic Content Standards               (identify up to three you plan to assess per subject)

Ohio's K-12 Mathematics Academic Content Standards (February 2002)

Patterns, Functions and Algebra Standard
(8-10) D. Use algebraic representations, such as tables, graphs, expressions, functions and
inequalities, to model and solve problem situations.

Mathematical Processes Standard
(8-10) A. Formulate a problem or mathematical model in response to a specific need or
situation, determine information required to solve the problem, choose method for obtaining
this information, and set limits for acceptable solution.
(8-10) B. Apply mathematical knowledge and skills routinely in other content areas and practical
(11-12) J. Apply mathematical modeling to workplace and consumer situations, including
problem formulation, identification of a mathematical model, interpretation of solution within
the model, and validation to original problem situation.

Measurement Standard
(11-12) D. Solve problem situations involving derived measurements; e.g., density, acceleration.

Data Analysis and Probability Standard
(8-10) F. Construct convincing arguments based on analysis of data and interpretation of graphs.

Ohio's K-12 English Language Arts Standards (February 2002)

Research Standard
(11-12) B. Compile, organize and evaluate information, take notes and summarize findings.
(11-12) C. Evaluate the usefulness and credibility of data and sources and synthesize information
from multiple sources.
(11-12) E. Communicate findings, reporting on the substance and processes orally, visually and in
writing or through multimedia.

Writing Process Standard
(8-10) B. Determine the usefulness of organizers and apply appropriate pre-writing tasks.
(11-12) B. Select and use an appropriate organizational structure to refine and develop ideas for

Communications: Oral and Visual Standard
(11-12) A. Use a variety of strategies to enhance listening comprehension.
(11-12) C. Select and use effective speaking strategies for a variety of audiences, situations, and

Estimated Time (estimated time required to complete the unit)
Time to create the unit will vary greatly based on the size of the chosen organization. See
instructional consideration.


To maximize the learning process for each student, groups of three to four are encouraged. Each

Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                         4
student’s knowledge is expected to grow at an accelerated rate in a team environment as opposed
to learning on their own. This occurs because each student can take advantage of the other
individual’s research, thoughts and interpretations. Students learn through collaboration.

Amount of Preparation Time Required for the Project

This project will span two academic quarters. It will begin during the last half of the winter
quarter and will end with a presentation by the group at the end of spring quarter. Over the
course of the prior summer and fall quarters, the material will prepare the students with
knowledge of local area networks (LANs) as well as how a LAN is integrated into a business/
organization’s critical functions. Each student should understand the role that a LAN plays in
helping the organization fulfill its business plan.


The intended outcomes from this unit include:

        Understanding the role of Information Technology Services in today’s world
        Interacting with professionals in their chosen field
        Understand how an organization operates by using a LAN
        Learning to write a lengthy paper incorporating what is learned in the classroom as it
        applies to the real world
        Applying critical thinking skills by conducting proper evaluations, developing
        appropriate understanding levels and making recommendations regarding hardware,
        software and human resources

Student Knowledge/Skill Level               (student skill level is listed and consistent with unit content)

Experienced: This should not be the first time the student has discussed the details of a local
area network (LAN), including the hardware requirements, the logical design, the physical
design, and the costs associated with a LAN.

Habits of Mind (identify one or two that students will practice in this unit)
       Communicating effectively (one on one and in small groups)

       Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision

       Gathering data through all senses

       Thinking flexibly

       Striving for accuracy

       Questioning and posing problems

       Thinking interdependently

Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                             5
Prerequisites (what, skills, knowledge, materials must students have to participate in this unit)
Students should have experience with selecting equipment that is used on a local area
network (LAN). They should have already configured some of the equipment that will be used
such as switches and routers. They should have an understanding of LAN standards as well as
the types of cabling that may be used to connect LAN devices.

Students need good writing skills in order to prepare a proposed LAN design. They should also
have good communication skills in order to convey their design concepts to the client (as well
as gather design criteria from the client).

Students should have basic accounting principles for budget planning purposes and
determining the total cost of installation.

Pre-Assessment (how will you find out what they already know)
To determine pre-existing knowledge, each team should develop a list of design requirements
for a local area network (LAN). Each team will share their list with the rest of the class and
discuss the pros and cons. This should lead to a comprehensive list of design requirements.
Students can develop their own criteria for evaluating a LAN design, e.g., expandability,
functionality, manageability, security, etc…

Materials Needed (list materials needed to implement this unit)
        A computer that is connected to the Internet (for research). This computer should
        have appropriate software for documenting the design including a word processing
        application, a spreadsheet application, and some application for creating either a
        presentation and/or networking diagrams (e.g., Microsoft Visio, PowerPoint, etc…)

        Each team member should have a 3-ring binder that can be used to store all of their
        information (preferably with dividers to keep the information organized, such as
        “Client Notes”, “Design Ideas”, “Hardware Specs”, etc…)

Facilities (list facilities requirements)
        A place where the team can meet to brainstorm and research their design criteria.

        A place where the team can meet with the client to discuss the design requirements
        and their progress as the need arises.

Business and Industry Resources              (list businesses/industries and contact persons)

Local businesses that design and install LANs may be willing to provide free advice and/or
guidance to the team(s). These businesses not only understand the national standards but
may also have a feel for the local customs/traditions related to network design (e.g., EIA-TIA
Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                        6
568-B terminations rather than EIA-TIA 568-A.

Equipment Manufacturers/Vendors/Distributors may provide varying degrees of detail
regarding the installation and configuration of networking hardware, software, etc…

The following link is an example of such a resource

Other Local Assets (list any OTHER local resources that are available as resources for this unit)
Many local businesses may allow the teams to visit their facilities and view their existing local
area networks (LANs) in order to gain appreciation for the scope of the project.

Print/Electronic Resources             (list any such resources that you will make available to students)

Communication Devices:
     Computers with Internet access and a productivity suite (such as Microsoft Office or
     OpenOffice) are essential
     Additional software such as Microsoft Visio, Cisco Network Designer, etc. would be
     helpful for creating some of the design documentation.

Internet Sites:
       There are many Web-based sites relating to network design such as:

Teacher Tips (list any tips that you believe will enhance this learning unit)
Even though this project is designed for the experienced, students may have difficulty “wading”
through the plethora of information available on local area network design and hardware choices.
To assist them, the instructor may suggest a few specific Web sites and/or companies from which
to gather their initial data.

Each team will give a 15-20 minute presentation on their final design that will include a
speaking part by each student and must include graphics (such as a PowerPoint presentation, a
spreadsheet with graphs, Visio diagram, etc…).

This is a problem-solving project. Students are expected to do a great deal of research and
teamwork. Monitor teams closely to make sure all students are participating and teams are
staying on-task.

If the instructor can help locate businesses at which the teams can view local area networks,
either formally (such as a field trip) or informally (individuals, or each team)
Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                          7
Formative Assessments (list possible methods and attach samples for conducting assessments)
A rubric will be used to assess the students’ performance as part of a team. A copy of this
rubric is attached at the end of this document.

                                       Team Work Rubric
 Name: _____________________                       Teacher: Will Bailey
 Date: ______________________                          Title of Work: LAN Design_________
             Skills                                   Criteria                           Points

Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                    8
                                           1               2              3             4
                                      None of the Some of the Most of the All of the                 ____
The teacher observed the students        Time            Time           Time          Time
offering assistance to each other.
                                      None of the Some of the Most of the All of the                 ____
The teacher observed students            Time            Time           Time          Time
working from each other's ideas.
                                      None of the Some of the Most of the All of the                 ____
The teacher observed each student        Time            Time           Time          Time
contributing to the project.
                                      None of the Some of the Most of the All of the                 ____
The teacher observed the students
                                         Time            Time           Time          Time
exchanging, defending, and
rethinking ideas.

The teacher observed the students     None of the Some of the Most of the All of the                 ____
interacting, discussing, and posing      Time            Time           Time          Time
questions to all members of the
                                      None of the Some of the Most of the All of the                 ____
The teacher observed the students
encouraging and supporting the           Time            Time           Time          Time
ideas and efforts of others.
                                      None of the Some of the Most of the All of the                 ____
The teacher observed the students
                                         Time            Time           Time          Time
offering ideas and reporting their
findings to each other.
                                                                                Total Points ____

Teacher Comments:

Summative Assessments                   (list possible methods and attach samples for conducting assessments)
Rubrics will be used to assess the students’ presentation and design performance. Copies of these
rubrics are attached at the end of this document.

                                       Project Rubric
                   Inquiry-Based Unit—Comprehensive Local Area Network Design

       Teacher Name:            Will Bailey

Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                             9
      Student Name:

                                     1                     2                 3                 4
                              Beginning                 Novice          Proficient       Exemplary
      Essential             Student is able       Student is able   Student is able   Student is able
      Questions             to answer a few       to answer some    to answer all     to answer all
                            essential and         essential and     essential and     essential and
                            critical              critical          critical          critical
                            questions.            questions.        questions.        questions, and
                                                                                      create several
      Knowledge             Student               Student learned Student             Student
                            depended too          enough to be a    expanded          expanded
                            heavily on team       part of the team. knowledge to      knowledge level
                            members to                              accomplish        to meet project
                            complete the                            most tasks        expectations.
                            project, and                            without
                            acquired little                         requiring
                            knowledge.                              outside
      Project               Design is             Design meets      Design meets      Student was
      Completion            incomplete and        some of the       MOST of the       able to design a
                            meets very few        client’s          client’s          LAN that meets
                            of the client’s       requirements.     requirements.     or exceeds all of
                            requirements.         Design could be Design could be     the client’s
                            Design could          implemented       implemented       requirements.
                            not be                with many         with a few        Design is ready
                            implemented.          minor changes     minor changes.    to be
                                                  (several major).                    implemented.
      Presentation          Presentation          Presentation      Presentation      Presentation
                            covers very           covers some of covers most of       covers all
                            little of the unit.   the unit          the unit.         aspects of the
                            Presentation          requirements.     Presentation      unit.
                            skills are            Project skills    skills are        Presentation
                            below-average.        are average.      average.          skills are above-
                                                                                      average to

                                            Presentation Rubric
                               Local Area Network Design Presentation
                 Teacher Name: Will Bailey

                 Student Name: ________________________________________
Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                         10
CATEGORY 4                                3                      2                        1
Preparedness The group is                 The group seems        The group is         The group does not
             completely prepared          pretty prepared but    somewhat prepared, seem at all prepared
             and has obviously            might have needed      but it is clear that to present.
             rehearsed.                   a couple more          rehearsal was
                                          rehearsals.            lacking.
Organization Content is well              Uses headings to       Content is logically     There was no clear
             organized using              organize and makes     organized but            or logical
             headings and makes           good use of font,      presentation is          organizational
             excellent use of font,       color, design, etc.    flawed and makes         structure, just lots of
             color, design, etc. to       to enhance             some use of font,        facts and makes little
             enhance                      presentation.          color, design, etc. to   use of font, color,
             presentation.                                       enhance                  design, etc. to
                                                                 presentation.            enhance
Content          Addresses focus          Mostly addresses       Pays some attention Little attempt to
                 questions clearly        focus questions        to focus questions. address focus
                 and effectively.         clearly and                                questions.
Presentation     The group speaks         The group speaks       The group speaks         The group often
Style            clearly and distinctly   clearly and            clearly and              mumbles or cannot
                 all (100-95%) the        distinctly all (94-    distinctly most ( 84-    be understood and
                 time and generates a     85%) the time and      75%) of the time         did not generate
                 strong interest and      sometimes              but does not             much interest in the
                 enthusiasm about         generates a strong     generate interest        topic being
                 the topic in others.     interest and           and enthusiasm           presented.
                                          enthusiasm about       about the topic in
                                          the topic in others.   others.
Posture and      The group stands up      The group stands       The group                The group slouches
Eye Contact      straight, looks          up straight and        sometimes stands         and/or does not look
                 relaxed and              establishes eye        up straight and          at people during the
                 confident.               contact with           establishes eye          presentation.
                 Establishes eye          everyone in the        contact.
                 contact with             room during the
                 everyone in the          presentation.
                 room during the
Collaboration Almost always               Usually listens to,    Inconsistently           Rarely listens to and
with Peers    listens to and              and supports the       listens to and           supports the efforts
              supports the efforts        efforts of others in   supports the efforts     of others in the
              of others in the            the group.             of others in the         group.
              group.                                             group.
Originality      The group uses           The group uses 1       The group uses 1         The group uses no
                 several props (could     prop that shows        prop which makes         props OR the props
                 include costume)         considerable           the presentation         chosen detract from
                 that show                work/creativity and    better.                  the presentation.
Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                               11
                 considerable         which make the
                 work/creativity and presentation better.
                 which make the
                 presentation better.
Research         Evidence of research Some evidence of       Some evidence of      Little research is
                 is apparent and      research is            research is           shown
                 detailed.            apparent.              apparent.
Bibliography Bibliography is           Bibliography is       Bibliography is       Bibliography is
             provided for all          provided for most     provided for some     provided for very
             graphics, props and       graphics, props and   graphics, props and   little of graphics,
             facts, etc. Also          facts, etc. Also      facts, etc. Also      props and facts, etc.
             presented in suitable     presented in          presented in some     Not presented in
             format.                   desired format.       format.               desired format.
Time             Each member of the Overall                  Inconsistent time  Presentation is less
                 group adheres to   presentation is too      contribution from than 10 minutes.
                 time limit. Each   long.                    individual members
                 member speaks for                           of the group.
                 3-4 minutes
Overall          Excellent!            Very good!.           Good!                 Could use some
Presentation                                                                       work!

Additional Comments:

Teacher's Signature _________________________________

Inquiry Based Learning Unit Template                                                        12

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