COM5001D Data Communications

COM5001D

Data Communications

Case Study Assignment

Primary School

Date for Submission: Please refer to the timetable on ilearn (The submission portal on ilearn will close at 14.00 UK time on the date

of submission)

Assignment Brief

As part of the formal assessment for programme you are required to submit a Data Communications assignment. Please refer to your Student Handbook for full details of the programme assessment scheme and general information on preparing and submitting assignments.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing the module, you should be able to: 1.

Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of data communications principles.

  • Apply their knowledge and understanding of networking components in the design of data communication systems.
  • Evaluate existing networked systems.
  • Communicate technical information effectively by writing reports in language that is appropriate to the target reader.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of user support in a network environment.

Your assignment should include: a title page containing your student number, the module name, the submission deadline and a word count; the appendices if relevant; and a reference list in Arden University (AU) Harvard format. You should address all the elements of the assignment task listed below. Please note that tutors will use the assessment criteria set out below in assessing your work.

Maximum word count: 4,000 words

Please note that exceeding the word count will result in a reduction in grade proportionate to the number of words used in excess of the permitted limit.

You must not include your name in your submission because Arden University operates anonymous marking, which means that markers should not be aware of the identity of the student. However, please do not forget to include your STU number.

Scenario

A new primary school is being built to replace outdated buildings that are beyond economic repair. The school consists of a single building laid out in a square with an open quadrangle courtyard in the middle.

One side consists of the main reception and school office, the head teacher’s office, a large assembly hall that is also used as the dining hall for school lunch and for indoor PE lessons plus toilet facilities for staff and visitors. There is also a staff common room and kitchen in this wing of the building. There is an IT room in one corner of the building which is to house servers, switches, routers and other infrastructure in an air-conditioned room with dedicated power supply etc. Basic IT support is provided by one of the teachers, who has some training in this area, with additional help from the local education department’s IT department.

The remaining three sides of the building house various classrooms, children’s toilets, stores and specialist facilities.

There will be two specialist computer rooms which will have 15 computers each, plus a suitable range of peripherals such as printers. These two rooms will be timetabled for classes to go there to do relevant work using the computers. All other classrooms will have a single computer at the front which is connected to an interactive whiteboard and is used in place of the traditional chalk board for class teaching. The school will also have a set of 15 Android tablets that can be booked out by any teacher for use in any classroom.

The school office, the head teacher’s office and the staff common room will each have computers which are available for staff use for lesson preparation, recording of pupil information and progress and the administration of the school.

As this is a new building, there are suitable service ducts between sections of the building and all the ceilings are suspended, allowing for all wiring to be concealed and secured.

You are to design an appropriate local area network infrastructure for this building. You may make assumptions about what is required but these assumptions must be appropriate to the scenario given and must be stated. You must as a minimum include a switch, a wireless access point, a router, a server, end devices, and an Internet connection in your design.

This assignment is split into tasks detailed below that cover the required aspects of the design. Not all aspects of the network design are asked for in order to keep the assignment to an appropriate size. Only cover the things that are asked for.

Assignment Task

Each task addresses aspects of the learning outcomes listed after the task title. The assignment as a whole covers all the learning outcomes, spread across the tasks. You should answer the tasks set, in the order they are set and clearly label each task. Do not treat the Learning Outcomes as if they are the tasks to be answered. LO4 is covered throughout the report.

Task 1 – Benefits of Networking

Write a brief report for the head teacher explaining how a school wide network would benefit the school. This must be clearly focussed on things that are relevant to a primary school and not just be a generic list of the benefits of networking.

(500 words)

(10 Marks) (LO1, LO5)

Task 2 – Network Design

Design an appropriate local area network infrastructure for the school. You must as a minimum include a switch, a wireless access point, a router, a server, end devices, and an Internet connection in your design.

  1. Provide logical network diagram(s) showing how the school might provide the required services and connections. This may be one or more diagrams as you see fit. Any suitable drawing package can be used and you will not be graded on the drawings themselves; just the network design. The diagram must be clearly labelled with all critical information including but not limited to identifying the devices used and the media used. This part only requires labelled diagram(s). No written text is required other than the labels on the diagram.
  2. Outline the cabling requirements for your design. You will need a basic plan of the school to create a physical layout design to determine the cabling requirements. You can work with any plan available from the Internet. Identify and justify the type(s) of cable(s) used. Provide approximate costs based on referenced supplier information found by searching the Internet. Since the school is in the UK, the supplier and price must be UK based.
  3. Explain each infrastructure device, what its function is and why you have selected that device for the job, clearly linking this to the information in the diagram(s) in part (a) or part (b). This explanation must focus on the school and its requirements.
  4. Identify and justify TWO specific products that could be used for each infrastructure device on basis of their technical specs, exact make and model, supplier and the price. Since the school is in the UK, the supplier(s) and prices must be UK based.

(1,200 words)

(35 Marks) (LO2, LO3)

Task 3 – IPv4 Addressing

For the network you designed in task 2, devise appropriate IPv4 address allocations and explain how these will be implemented. You need to include both static and dynamic addresses in your scheme.  You should cover the following:

  1. Actual addresses and address ranges used, with justification. This should clearly identify appropriate logical groupings of devices and show the relevant address ranges used by each group.
  2. Methods used by different devices to acquire their address, with justification.

(500 words)

(10 Marks) (LO2, LO3)

Task 4 – Network Services

Every network depends on the services provided to make it useful. These include obvious foreground user services such as e-mail and less well-known background services such as the Domain Name Service (DNS).

Identify an appropriate set of services (both foreground and background) for the school to run on their network. For each service, clearly explain why it is necessary and how it helps the school either in running their network (background services) or running the school (foreground services). Make sure that you are describing services, not servers or protocols.

(600 words)

(15 Marks)

(LO2)

Task 5 – Network Monitoring

Identify one specific network monitoring tool that the school could use to ensure that their network continues to perform correctly. You should identify a specific product (including manufacturer, product and exact version or model number as appropriate) including supplier and price.  This should be appropriate to the size of the school and their network.

For the tool you have identified, explain what it does by describing different aspects of its functionality, and how the information it supplies can be used by the company. You should support your explanation with screenshots from the product.

(500 words)

(15 Marks)

(LO3)

Task 6 – Security

As with any computer system, security is an issue with a new network. Identify three possible security issues that the school will face with their new network and outline how they can provide appropriate levels of protection.

(700 words)

(15 Marks) (LO3, LO5)

End of questions

Formative Feedback

You have the opportunity to submit a draft assignment to receive formative feedback.

The feedback is designed to help you develop areas of your work and it helps you develop your skills as an independent learner.

If you are a distance learning student, you should submit your work, by email, to your tutor, no later than 2 weeks before the actual submission deadline. If you are a blended learning student, your tutor will give you a deadline for formative feedback and further details.

Formative feedback will not be given to work submitted after the above date or the date specified by your tutor – if a blended learning student.

Guidelines

You MUST underpin your analysis and evaluation of the key issues with appropriate and wide ranging academic research and ensure this is referenced using the AU Harvard system. The My Study Skills Area contains the following useful resources:

Guide to Harvard Referencing http://moodle.bl.rdi.co.uk/guides/HarvardRef/AU_Harvard_Quick_Ref_Guide.pdf

Guide to Harvard Citation http://moodle.bl.rdi.co.uk/guides/HarvardRef/AU_Guide_to_Harvard_Citation.pdf

You must use the AU Harvard Referencing method in your assignment.

Additional notes:

Students are required to indicate the exact word count on the title page of the assessment. The word count excludes the title page, executive summary, tables, figures, diagrams, footnotes, reference list and appendices. Where assessment questions have been reprinted from the assessment brief these will also be excluded from the word count. ALL other printed words ARE included in the word count. See ‘Word Count Policy’ on the homepage of this module for more information.

Submission Guidance

Assignments submitted late will not be accepted and will be marked as a 0% fail.

Your assessment should be submitted as a single Word (MS Word) or PDF file. For more information please see the “Guide to Submitting an Assignment” document available on the module page on iLearn.

You must ensure that the submitted assignment is all your own work and that all sources used are correctly attributed. Penalties apply to assignments which show evidence of academic unfair practice. (See the Student Handbook which is on the homepage of your module and also in the Induction Area).

Assessment Criteria: Level 5
Level 5 reflects the continuing development in knowledge, understanding and skills from Level 4. At Level 5, students are not expected to be fully autonomous but are able to take responsibility for their own learning with appropriate guidance and direction. Students are expected to further develop their theoretical knowledge within a more intellectual context and to demonstrate this through more complex forms of expression which move beyond the descriptive or imitative domain. Students are expected to demonstrate skills of analysis in both problem-solving and resolution.
GradeMark BandsGeneric Assessment Criteria
First (1)80%+An exceptional information base exploring and analysing the discipline, its theory and any associated ethical considerations. There is sophisticated use and management of learning resources and a high degree of autonomy is demonstrated. Writing is exceptionally well structured and accurately referenced throughout. Where appropriate, outstanding professional skills are demonstrated. The work is original and with some additional effort could be considered for internal publication.
70-79%An excellent knowledge base within which the discipline is explored and analysed. There is a good degree of originality in the approach. The work demonstrates confidence and autonomy and extends to consider ethical issues. Learning resources have been managed confidently. Writing is exceptionally well structured and accurately referenced throughout. Where appropriate, an excellent level of professional skills are demonstrated and the work demonstrates a high level of intellectual and academic skills.
Upper second (2:1)60-69%A very good knowledge base which explores and analyses the discipline, its theory and any associated ethical issues. There is evidence of some originality and independence of thought. A very good range of learning resources underpin the work and there is evidence of growing confidence and self-direction. The work demonstrates the ability to analyse the subject and apply theory with good academic and intellectual skills. Academic writing skills are good, expression is accurate overall and the work is consistently referenced throughout.
Lower second (2:2)50-59%A satisfactory understanding of the discipline which begins to analyse the subject and apply some underpinning theory. There may be reference to some of the ethical considerations. The work shows a sound level of competence in managing basic sources and materials. Academic writing skills are good and accurate overall and the work is planned and structured with some though. Professional skills are satisfactory (where appropriate). The work lacks original thought but academic and intellectual skills are moving into the critical domain. The work is referenced throughout.
Third (3)40-49%Basic level of performance in which there are some omissions in understanding the subject, its underpinning theory and ethical considerations. There is little evidence of independent thought and the work shows a basic use of sources and materials. Academic and intellectual skills are limited. The work may lack structure overall. There are some difficulties in developing professional skills (where appropriate). There is an attempt to reference the work.
Marginal Fail30-39%A limited piece of work in which there are clear gaps in understanding the subject, its underpinning theory and ethical considerations. The work shows a limited use of sources and materials. Academic and intellectual skills are weak and there are errors in expression and the work may lack structure overall. There are difficulties in developing professional skills (where appropriate). The work lacks original thought and is largely imitative.
 29% and belowA poor performance in which there are substantial gaps in knowledge and understanding, underpinning theory and ethical considerations. The work shows little evidence in the use of appropriate sources and materials. Academic writing skills are very weak and there are numerous errors in expression. The work lacks structure overall. Professional skills (where appropriate) are not developed. The work is imitative.
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