Data Communications & Networks

An in-depth investigation of data communications and networking specializing in the bottom three or four layers of the OSI model

Major course task List:
The instructor will lead regular discussions in class, giving out assignments as appropriate.  In addition to these class related study tasks you are expected to complete the  assignments in a timely manner.

Textbook is mandatory:   

Network + Guide to Networks by Tamara Dean  Fifth Edition Course Technology

Check with instructor: Other current Network + study or reference book may be acceptable.

Learning Objectives:

To become familiar with the nomenclature and basic principles of data communications mechanisms equipment and software.

Course Schedule for the quarter



One Midterm and one Final exam. The primary evaluation criterion will be how well you perform the assigned tasks.

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Major Course Tasks

Back to task list==Back to weekly schedule


General assignments:
           You willl be responsible for understanding the word list for each chapter as we finish it.
               If you don't understand a term or can't pronounce it, bring it up in class.

         You are also expected to go through the questions at the end of each chapter.
              If you understand the question and can answer it, just move on.  
              If, however, you have a problem with any question, bring it up in class. You might see some of these questions on a test.

    1. Social Networking

      General, easy to read. Not a detailed analysis.
      Use Internet resources to determine the systems available to enhance individual communications. Include all effective techniques used on the Internet for intercommunicating, selling/buying, providing information. etc.  
      Audience:  People who can get on the internet for simple games and perhaps email, but do not know how it works or the scope of resources available.
      Include, among other things, Email, auction sites, social networking, texting, Sales sites, personal web sites, using the web for club or non-profit activities.
      Include a discussion on security and any potential for negative impacts upon users.

      ~4 pages  plus a two minute oral report to the class.

      Back to task list==================Back to weekly schedule

    2. Services

       Specific report.

      Use your book and web resources to find the various ways businesses have developed to help them in their business.  This can include scheduling, selling, money transfers, travel options, "Just In Time" manufacturing, Product development, (Especially development by teams at different, perhaps foreign locations), quality control, planning, advertizing, etc.  

      Audience: Business students and business executives who don't appreciate what the internet can do.  
      Include a brief discussion on the danger of malware to their business.

      ` 4 pages plus a two minute oral report to the class.

    Back to task list==================Back to weekly schedule

    3. TCP/IP

    Convince the instructor that you understand the TCP/IP protocol suite, how it is used, what each protocol accomplishes, its block format, and how it fits into the internet. Along with an overall discussion of the suite, address the following issues:
    • What functions does TCP perform? Explain the block format. What does it do with errors?
    • What does the IP layer do?  Explain the block format.  What does it do with errors?
    • What do the mono-block protocols like UDP accomplish?
    • How does TCP/IP coincide with the OSI model?
    • What is important about IP addresses?  Domain names? DNS?
    • Waht is IPV6? How does it impact the internet?
Audience: Me     --  show me that you know what you are talking about.\
Number of pages?  As many as it takes
Be prepared to participate in an in-depth discussion of TCP/IP

You will each be prepared to provide a 5 to 10 minute portion of this session.

      a. Review various catalogs describing the kinds of network cabling. Create a table in which you define the pertinent characteristics of each. Include electrical characteristics, bandwidth, and termination methods.

      b. As a class, create a large display board which illustrates each kind of cabling and how each is terminated.

      c. Terminate at least a co-ax cable, a 10 base T RJ45, a telephone RJ11, and punch down a part of a 110 block.

    Back to task list==================Back to weekly schedule

    4 Individual Project

    The instructor will provide a list of topics from which you will choose. You will research the subject, then make an effective Power Point presentation.

Individual project report topics (Think about which ones you will take on) You will make an oral report with appropriate graphic aids and a well notated, illustrated written report of at least four pages.

    a. Layered ISO standards

    b. Digital vs analog communications channels

    c. State of the art in MODEMs

    d. How Web Sites serve a corporate client. (ie. help make money)

    e. Peer to peer vs served networks

    f. Tasks involved in network management

    g. Wide area networks for an enterprise

    h. All about the Internet

    i. Economic impact of Local Area Networks

    j. Interactive telecommunications for the masses. (e.g. interactive cable, etc.)

    k. Network security

    Back to task list==================Back to weekly schedule

    5. Design Project

    Case Study:  A company as described below has asked you for an initial design for an effective integrated network system. Every computer in the company has an Ethernet 10/100 interface.
    The company needs an effective syatem for their activities. Their current system of individual computers running on four separate ethernet networks isn't adequate. Most of the computers at HQ have access through a public wireless router, but that router is going out of business.

    Let them know what kind of system you recommend company-wide. They seem to think that one wireless router at HQ and Post falls, connected with a leased line will be sufficient. They don't know about routers, switches, etc.

    Include an overall design sketch, and a list of equipment they will need. Make a recommendation as to how they should implement local networks as well as inter-facility networking.  Give them an idea of what kind of internet portal they will need.

    They will want to know how much it will cost, but I don't expect you to be able to give a good estimate.

Facility# ComputersLocationActivities
HQ74SpokaneManagement, Design, operations, Sales, accounting
Factory41Post FallsBuilding mechanical systems, assembling finished product Shipping
China31Hang TauElectronic and subsystems manufacturing, Shipping
    In addition, there are thirty-seven sales reps and four tech reps who spend most of their time traveling.

    Back to task list
    ==================Back to weekly schedule

    6. Network organization
    To be assigned in class.  == this will be a review of the topographic layout of a network system, identifhying the components, both hardware and software.  You will discuss wiring, switching, routing to external nodes, and contracting for bandwidth.

    Back to task list ==================Back to weekly schedule

    7.Network management:

To be assigned in class ==  Basically, this will be to review network hardware and software, covering the issues a network manager has to consider in installing and maintaining networks.

    Back to task list==================Back to weekly schedule

       8. Wireless

      use all resources available to outline the scope of wireless communications today.  The instructor will lead a discussion on wireless, calling on individuals at random. You get credit if you can answer your questions, lose credit if you look like a dear in the headlights.  


      Back to task list==================Back to weekly schedule


    Course Schedule

    Instructor: Paul E. Lecoq Winter 2003

    Text: Network + Guide to networks
    Week - DATES

Week - DATES Reading 
SUBJECT reading asgt due beginning of week. Exams/Projects Due at beginning of week.


entire text
Chapt 1

Telecommunications principles (lecture)



Chapt 2 Networks and network concepts& Standards

OSI Model



Chapt 2 & 3
Networking Media & principles
Network protocols 
1. Research & Report  on personal networking



Chapt 3 & 4
TCP/IP and the Internet
   Electronics lab session
2. Research & report on effective web & wireless services



Ch 4 & 5

Physical and logical topologies

TCP/IP services

Networking strategies

3. Research & Report on
the operation of TCP/IP netwowrks

4 Individual Project asgt



Chapt 5 & 6 Networking hardware and strategies
5. Design project
Due at end of quarter


Chapt 7 WANS & Network connectivity 6. Research & Report
Network organization


Chapt 8 Wireless Networking 7. Network management



Chapt 8 Wireless


8. Wireless networks report

Individual project reports due


Practical Network Design Projects


   Review and catch up



--- Reports

Final exam 



Assignments are due on Tuesday, two weeks after being assigned. I will allow a grace period but if the assignment comes in after Wednesday they may suffer a 20% penalty. After Friday, 50% penalty.

You must turn in all assignments in order to pass the course, even if you get no points for the assignment.


How do you know when you are done? How well have you done?

GRADING (These values may vary depending on how well we progress)

1 Test 100
9 projects 300 (1/2 on whether it works
1/4 on quality, 1/4 on testing) FINAL 200
Attendance & participation 100
Your grade on all work will be determined by linear interpolation between the lowest 4.0 and the highest 0.0.
Lowest 4.0 =~90%
highest 0.0 =~70%


Back to the Table of Modules  

Paul Lecoq