Literature review Topic/Project:
Efficient delivery of IT Networking courses online using virtualisation technologies enabling students to complete practical labs, using virtual machines for servers, networking, and storage. Delivery of classes will be done by using Adobe connect for presenting the lessons and students will login remotely to the NDG Netlab system.
Main items for literature review are :
1. Using Virtualisation technologies for delivering online IT courses with practical content.
2. Costs savings gained by online delivery/teaching of IT courses
3. Online delivery of IT courses using Adobe connect and other presentation software
4. Securing remote access to the NDG system hosted within a college campus network
The following questions may be useful while reviewing the topic:
1. What is the new technology? – Virtualisation / Online delivery/teaching
2. What does it do and what are the special features it has? Enable students to complete practical IT networking labs using virtual
3. When is it coming out in the market and how much will it cost?
4. What industry will the new technology affect? (Medical, agricultural, computer, business, etc….).
5. In your opinion, will the new technology be beneficial to society? Why or why not.
6. What did you learn from a critical analysis of your sources of information on this new technology?
The rationale of this assessment is to test your ability to review, evaluate, critique and support others opinions as well as existing literature, using a scholarly writing style. You will also demonstrate your ability to carry out independently research and locate information from various sources such as journals, conference proceedings, online databases, eBooks and industry magazines.
The Learning Outcomes being assessed in this second task include your ability to perform literature searches and critically analyse the literature in the chosen topic and then to critically reflect on and synthesize complex information, problems, concepts and theories in the chosen topic. As the Literature Review develops, so will also be demonstrating your advanced communication and academic writing skills in transmitting your capstone experiences and ideas to others.
That is a research topic on its own, however I recommend the list of SIX structural elements below are found in most well written literature reviews:
1. Interpretation and evaluation of an overview of recent trends in emerging technologies and innovation;
2. Evidence of literature searches and critical analysis of the literature in the chosen capstone topic;
3. Critical reflection and synthesis of complex information, problems, concepts and theories in the chosen topic;
4. Original opinion on the benefits of your capstone project to others;
5. Reflective comments on what was learnt from a review of the literature;
6. Use of correct citations and referencing conforming to recognised referencing format.
1. Problem Domain:
Online learning and delivery has been adopted by many training institutes since the prevalence of the internet and more recently it has become more prevalent. Due to the efficiencies in costs achieved by reducing face to face delivery, overcoming the need for physical classroom infrastructure, breaking free of geographic constrains and the ability to cater to a global market, has resulted in many institutions moving towards online delivery. The New York Times has referred to 2012 as “The Year of the MOOC.” (Scardili, 2013)
However one of the limitations of online delivery for lab intensive IT courses has centred around the provision of suitable methods to provide students the opportunities to complete the practical labs using physical servers, clients and devices and assessing the students in the practical work. This is especially important in the in vocational, job oriented courses at the Diploma and Advanced Diploma level.
Hence most online courses delivered were mostly of a theoretical nature and were considered not suitable for courses that require practical labs using physical equipment.
2. Purpose and justification
This project will deliver a proposal to implement system which will enable the delivery of online courses where students will be able to complete practical lab work on virtual servers, clients and devices, including networking and storage, using virtual machines and cloud computing. Each student will be assigned 5 virtual machines to complete labs on which will be in a private cloud within the organisation’s network. This project overlaps over the 3 areas of ICT literature review viz. Applications, Technology and Issues.
As far as emerging technologies are concerned, virtualisation has been heralded as the most prominent future trend in Information Technology with companies joining the band wagon by continuing to adopt this technology and achieving amongst other benefits, a Global warming and the push for ‘Green IT’ have driven the adoption of virtualisation creating a ‘quantum change in our world’ and providing the ‘foundation for cloud computing’, which is the de-facto model for IT application services.
2. Sponsor or Supervisor recommendation
The project implementation will require a budget of $35000 and will need liaison with the IT Department of the organisation. There will be some network work access required and the creation of accounts and remote access provision for students.
The costs of the system may be offset by the revenue from delivery of courses especially since the virtualisation and cloud computing courses are in demand.
3.Research Questions (if applicable)
What is the future of online learning?
What emerging technologies can be used to expand the delivery of online delivery to courses requiring practical work using simulated physical equipment and how can this be achieved.
4. Conceptual or Theoretical Framework
Below is a conceptual diagram of the proposed implementation and usage. The project involves using a lab system designed to delivery practical IT courses using virtualisation technologies and-and local equipment developed by the US vendor, NDG (www.netdevgroup.com) and implementing it with remote access within the training institution for delivery of online courses.
1. Research and Systems Development method(s)
The Research systems development methods used in the selection and implementation of this project follows generals steps commonly adopted for a project of this nature i.e. observation, formulation of a hypothesis, prediction and testing.
The methodology in particular will be the linear framework “waterfall” methodology with the project divided into sequential phases.
Prototyping will not be required as the intention is to use a vendor product which has been tested thoroughly and is supported by the vendor.
2. Data collection or systems design methods
Data collection for this project is mainly by way of reviewing vendor sites, IT publications and educational publications. The systems design methods will follow the recommendations and documentation of the Vendor as close as possible, so as to ensure full support from the Vendor for troubleshooting purposes, by limiting the variables to a minimum.
3. Ethical Issues
There are no major ethical concerns in the actual systems used in this project. However the general ethical concerns would be the exposure of the network to public, due to the granting of remote access to students. This may possibly compromise the network, however with proper precautions in place, and advances in firewall and authentication processes, the risks are reduced.
In particular we would be considering Cyberethics, defined by Tavani as “the study of moral, legal and social issues involving cyber technology” (Tavani 2013 p4), which differs from computer ethics, information ethics and internet ethics in that, cyberethics can be considered to encompass all three and is more comprehensive.
Another ethical issue from an educational perspective is that of assessing students in an online, proctored environment. The can be overcome by having a 3 hour practical proctored session conducted within the training institute or a designated examination centre.
4. Compliance Requirements (Workplace, Industry or Government regulations)
The general government regulations for education institutions, in particular TAFE apply to this project. In particular the ethical and efficient use of funds and ensuring accountability is considered as per government policies. The issue of privacy is to be given major consideration due the external access to the system.
Both liability and accountability need to be taken into consideration, while Liability is a legal concept, and accountability believes accountability is a broader concept, making ultimately the organisation answerable (Nissenbaum, 2007).
5. Risk analysis
Due to the nature of the project and the area that the project in to be implemented in (Education and Training) the levels of risk are not major, however a risk analysis is to be considered. The major areas of risk in this project are:
2. Exposure of the network to hackers as a result of the provision of access to internal networks and systems.
3. Recovery of investment costs.
The risk assessment process employed should ideally be a ‘formulaic’ process in conjunction with a wide range of tools, following the four virtues, eight rules and eight concepts (Day,2003)
The following general steps can be adopted :
- Identify the components of the security issue
- Identify the risks and threats
- Filter them past the list of rules
- Make the ‘proper’ decision
6. Project Plan
1. Deliverables (Conclusions, Recommendations, Software code etc.)
The deliverables for this project are a system consisting of servers, clients, SAN’s and self-contained networks, with the capacity of providing 5 Virtual machines to 16 students, who would be able to access the system and complete labs by login on remotely.
The ability to deliver training in VMware vSphere ICM courses using adobe connect and assess the students as well.
2. Work breakdown structure (WBS) – as per MS project file
3. Duration -as per MS project file
4. Gantt chart- as per MS project file
The items above will be presented in the MS project plan.