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CIS 4415 Network Theory and Design

Course Description

This course covers the theory, design, and application of networks and includes creation and operation of an actual network.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to

  • Demonstrate an understanding of network systems, applications of networks, network models, network operating systems, network security, and the role of network administrators.
  • Apply the principles learned in class in the laboratory to create and maintain a network, link multiple computers, and ensure the stability of the system.

Week 1

Lecture: Introduction to Networks


  • Describe basic computer components and operations
  • Explain the fundamentals of network communication
  • Define common networking terms
  • Explain the different network models
  • Identify the functions of various network server types
  • Describe specialized networks

Week 2

Lecture: Network Design Essentials
Lecture: Networking Media and Interface Cards


  • Describe the primary physical networking topologies in common use
  • Describe the primary logical networking topologies in common use
  • Describe major LAN networking technologies
  • Describe the basic operation of network repeaters and hubs
  • Explain the purpose of network switches
  • Summarize the operation of wireless access points
  • Describe the basic operation of network interface cards
  • Explain the function of routers

Week 3

Lecture: Making Networks Work
Lecture: Network Communications and Protocols


  • Explain the OSI reference model layers and their relationship to hardware and software
  • Explain the IEEE networking model and related standards
  • Describe the purpose of a network protocol, the layers in the TCP/IP architecture, and the protocols in each TCP/IP layer
  • Explain IP address configuration and subnetting

Week 4

  • Describe the advanced features and operation of network switches
  • Describe routing table properties and discuss routing protocols
  • Explain basic and advanced wireless access point features
  • Select the most suitable NIC bus and features for a computer

Week 5

Lecture: Understanding Complex Networks


  • Explain the operation fundamentals of network operating systems
  • Describe the various networking software components
  • Describe the basic steps required for network operating system installation
  • Define network services
  • Explain network application installation and configuration concepts
  • Create and work with user and group accounts
  • Create and manage permissions on storage volumes
  • Work with shared files and printers
  • Monitor a system’s performance and reliability
  • Describe fault-tolerant and backup solutions

Week 6

Lecture: Network Administration and Support


  • Develop a network security policy
  • Secure physical access to network equipment
  • Secure network data
  • Address the needs of a small business network
  • Identify small business network equipment requirements
  • Identify small business application requirements
  • Describe the issues of supporting a small business
  • Select tools to find network security weaknesses

Week 7

Lecture: Wide-Area and Large-Scale Networks


  • Describe the fundamentals of WAN operation and devices
  • Discuss the methods used to connect to protocols
  • Describe the three major areas of cloud computing

Week 8

Lecture: Solving Network Problems


  • Describe the benefits of documenting a network and list what elements should be documented
  • Explain different approaches to network troubleshooting
  • List the steps of the problem-solving process
  • Explain how to make use of the problem-solving resources
  • Describe network troubleshooting tools
  • Summarize common trouble situations
  • Describe disaster recovery procedures, including backup plans and systems recovery tools
  • Describe the benefits of network management and planning
  • Explain different approaches to network troubleshooting
  • List the steps of a problem-solving process
  • Explain the types of specialized equipment and other resources for troubleshooting
  • Describe some measures to take in common troubleshooting situations

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course.