BTEC Level 2 (NQF) ICT – Unit 11 – Computer Networks

Unit introduction

Computer networking is an important part of our daily business and personal lives that most people take for granted. Without networks, many of the tools and systems used by business and individuals would not function: we couldn’t surf the worldwide web, send and receive emails, or use a variety of devices such as a smartphone, laptop or games console to communicate with friends and family online.

So, what is computer networking? In its simplest form, computer networking is a collection of interconnected, wired or wireless, hardware devices and associated software that allows computers to communicate and share resources with each other.

There are a number of job roles that involve working with computer networks. These include :

  • Network engineers who design, develop, test, operate and support computer networks and services
  • Network managers who ensure that the network capacity can meet an organisation’s needs and that it is secure
  • IT support technicians who find and correct software and hardware problems for computer users, including problems in computer networks.

In this unit, you will come to understand the features and uses of computer networks by exploring what networks are, as well as the different types of network and how they affect user experience. You will investigate issues such as reliability (frequency of network failure and performance) and how quickly data are transferred across the network under different conditions. You will be able to apply some of your findings to your own computer network. You will also learn about the different hardware and software devices needed for networking, and how these can be combined to make a computer network. You will also put your knowledge and skills into practice by designing, developing and testing your own computer network for a brief. Once completed, you will review your network against the brief and obtain feedback from the client and from others, and evaluate possible improvements.

Assignment 1 –  Due Date : 23rd March 2019

Assignment 2 – Due Date : 1st June 2019

Lesson delivery schedule :

Date

Lesson

Learning Outcomes Covered

 

17th January Lesson 1 Learning aim A: Understand the features and uses of computer networking
24th January  Lesson 2 Learning aim A: Understand the features and uses of computer networking
31 January Lesson 3 Learning aim A: Understand the features and uses of computer networking
7th February  Lesson 4

Learning aim A: Understand the features and uses of computer networking

14th February  Lesson 5 Learning aim B: Design a computer network
28th February  Lesson 6

Learning aim B: Design a computer network

7th March  Lesson 7

Learning aim B: Design a computer network

14th March  Lesson 8

Learning aim B: Design a computer network

21st March  workshop Assignment 1 workshop
28th March  Lesson 9

Learning aim C: Develop and test a computer network

25th April  Lesson 10

Learning aim C: Develop and test a computer network

2nd May  Lesson 11

Learning aim C: Develop and test a computer network

9th May  Lesson 12

Learning aim D: Review the finished computer network

16th May  Lesson 13

Learning aim D: Review the finished computer network

23rd May  Workshop Assignment 2 workshop

Teaching Resources :

Scheme of work is available here.

List of questions that can be used in the lessons above is available here.

List of some entry-level Industry certifications to enter the career of networking :

  1. CCENT – Cisco’s Entry level certification  https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccent
  2. CompTIA core certifications : https://certification.comptia.org/certifications?level=core
  3. Microsoft’s entry level MTA qualifications : https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/mta-summary-certification.aspx