An exercise of expression!

Must play game for every CCNA cohort!

I am very very fond of teaching. And given this opportunity of training a freshman batch at Cisco about CCNA, I started planning the entire thing. What would I teach them first? What examples would I show them? How will I make sure they understand the concepts? With so many questions, loads of excitement and after weeks of planning the curriculum, I came up with an idea to help the students understand how traditional networks forward packets. I made them play the role of network nodes and forward packets!

Right after finishing basic CCNA routing and switching classes, I put forward a question to the entire batch and asked them to explain the packet flow. The topology was very simple –

In the above network, how would host A ping host B? Explain each and every step that goes into making this happen?

Students playing the CCNA game

I noticed that a lot of them were struggling to understand and explain how this works. That is when I turned them into network nodes and packets. In the picture, you can see the exact topology with students and one packet man 😉

The packet would start at one host, and then the host programs all the headers, sends the packet to the link. The switch student then talks to the packet man, understands all the headers, takes an appropriate action. And each node talks to this packet similarly and takes an action to forward until host B. The game covered everything from ARP, mac learning, forwarding, static routes to end to end packet delivery.

That’s it! Not only it was fun to do this, it really really helped them clearly understand the role of ARP, understand how a switch works, how a router works and so on. I am proud to say that each of my students now understand the basic packet flow of computer networks.

PS: Follow my other posts on CCNA here!

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