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Section Title Primary information Description and Notes Suggested resources
Lesson Length The expected lesson length will be approximately one hour

Some variation possible.

Assessment Level 1

Students The lesson is suitable for KS3 and KS4 students Since this is a new specification, the lesson is suitable for Year 7 to 9 students and differentiated by outcome  
Overall Focus This lesson goes a bit deeper into the idea of restrictions such as contention to look at bottlenecks which can affect networks and data transmission. The lesson will look at the factors to consider in avoiding bottlenecks and what design elements can be used to address the problems

Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words bandwidth, bottleneck, network diagrams These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  
Assessment identify potential bottlenecks in network design Evidence here will be the students showing a basic understanding of the concept of bottlenecks and being able to identify simple cases in diagrams Explore different network diagrams and discuss the relationship between bandwidth and available devices to explore limitations in designs
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Some questions and examples will get the students thinking about what problems might occur with some solutions What causes bottlenecks to occur?  How do you determine what devices can cope with what transmissions?  What other factors will cause slow-downs, expected or otherwise.
Learning Objectives
  • To understand and describe basic network design
  • To explain, with examples, the different devices and functions
  • To understand how different parts deal with transmission
  • To show an understanding of some of the restrictions on bandwidth
  • To understand some of the cures for problems

Students will need to understand the different devices and how these cope with traffic.  They need to show an awareness of how this can be modified by the right equipment and settings.

They need to investigate designing their own network diagrams to explain how each device has an impact.

If you are using the Learning Machine learning system, students can add their comments and material to this site as evidence of their growing understanding.  The site, if used consistently, will show progression via charts of activity and outcomes.
Teaching and Learning Elements
  • an introduction to network devices and their functions
  • a look at the main device capacities with examples
  • Students can break into groups and work on some basics of network design
  • Class discussion and evaluation of the wider issues of network design
  • Summarize the key points and reinforce the importance of testing

In this lesson we need to discuss how networks are designed and configured based on pre-set information such as the bandwidth, physical restrictions of cabling and devices used etc.  They should be aware of these different elements enough to pick out potential bottlenecks when they see them.

Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. investigate network equipment
  2. investigate network diagrams and designs
  3. group work to work on some of their own views and examples
  4. discuss what they have learned and what they can apply
  5. volunteers to share their work and explain how they came to their opinions
  6. highlight next week's focus and issue homework

Network diagram

Students should be able to identify the main networking components and be able to use these to design their own or work out what is wrong in other diagrams.

Many applications such as Google have network device symbols which will allow some basic designs.  There are also applications such as gliffy

 which is a web based tool for designing diagrams and networks.

Homework Get students to draw a rough sketch of a network diagram in order to design in class on Gliffy etc. Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding. Get students to document their experience on their portfolio system for assessment


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