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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: ISSC640 Course ID: 3870 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course is a study of computer networks and the evolution of modern communication systems. It examines the various layers of the basic reference models such as the five-layer IP model or the seven-layer OSI model, by scale, connection method, network architecture, or topology. This course also includes an in-depth analysis of transmission protocols, communications systems, and networks. Prior knowledge of networks and networking is recommended.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
08/31/20 - 01/29/21 02/01/21 - 03/28/21 Winter 2021 Session I 8 Week session
09/28/20 - 02/26/21 03/01/21 - 04/25/21 Winter 2021 Session D 8 Week session
10/26/20 - 04/02/21 04/05/21 - 05/30/21 Spring 2021 Session B 8 Week session
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

  1. Categorize the various communications systems.
  2. Compare the differences between the various network topologies (physical and logical).
  3. Differentiate between the different types of physical media used in local area networks (LANs).
  4. Examine the seven-layer OSI networking model and it’s relation to common protocol stacks.
  5. Analyze the components of a packet (header, body, CRC, etc.).
  6. Compare and contrast major network architectures.
  7. Assess the common network administration and support functions.
  8. Distinguish between the various topologies used in wide area networks (WANs).
  9. Appraise the various network troubleshooting tools and techniques.

The grading will be based on weekly homework assignments, Forum postings, a Case Study, a research paper (outline, final paper), and a final quiz.

  1. There will be eight homework assignments. The assignments and exercise will count as 20% of the final grade. The homework assignments will follow each of the major portions of the course. The weekly assignment will be problems or questions from the weekly readings from the textbook. They are selected to help the student with understanding the concepts discussed in the chapters assigned for reading. Assignments should be prepared in Microsoft Word or an equivalent word processor program and uploaded into the student folder by the due date (or pasted into the submission window).
  2. There will be eight Forum postings you will need to respond to. A main post and at least 2 responses to classmates are required. The main post should be significant (250 words minimum), and should as much as possible include links, references, citations, etc. to enrich the shared learning. The response posts should be around 100 words minimum. You may attack, support or supplement other students’ answers using the terms, concepts and theories from the required and any supplemental readings. All responses should be a courteous paragraph that contains a topic sentence with good supporting sentences. You may respond multiple times with a continuous discussion with points and counter points. The key requirement is to express your idea and then support your position using the terms, concepts and theories from the readings to demonstrate that you understand the material. The Forum postings will count as 20% of the final grade.
  3. There will be one research paper, and a paper outline
  4. There will be a Case Study on modeling
  5. The Week 8 Quiz will be a 75 minute non-proctored examination. It will count as 20% of the final grade. This examination will cover selected sections of the textbook. All questions are either multiple-choice or true-false and will be open book and open note.
NameGrade %
Research 50.00 %
Paper (week 7) 25.00 %
Case Study (week 5) 15.00 %
Paper Outline (Week 4) 10.00 %
Assignments 20.00 %
Week 1 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 2 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 3 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 4 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 5 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 6 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 7 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 8 Assignment 2.50 %
Forums 20.00 %
Week 1 Forum 2.50 %
Week 2 Forum 2.50 %
Week 3 Forum 2.50 %
Week 4 Forum 2.50 %
Week 5 Forum 2.50 %
Week 6 Forum 2.50 %
Week 7 Forum 2.50 %
Week 8 Forum 2.50 %
Quizzes & Bonus 10.00 %
Week 8 Quiz 8.33 %
Bonus 1.67 %

Book webpage:

Reference: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Washington, DC: Author. ISBN: 1-4338-0561-8

Companion Website

Web-based Readings

See Web Resources in Selected Bibliography at the end of this document, and see Lessons.

Software Requirements

Selected Bibliography

Web Resources

  1. Network Design – White Papers, Webcasts and Case Studies:
  2. Howstuffworks "How Home Networking Works":
  3. IEEE Standards Association:
  4. IEEE Pervasive Computing:
  5. Internet Society:
  6. O'Reilly P2P Directory:
  7. Atlas of Cyberspace:
  8. WLAN links:
  9. How Ethernet works:
  10. How OSI works:
  11. OSI model:
  12. Ethernet links:
  13. WAN links:
  14. repository of RFC STD BCP and FYI documents:
  15. Internet RFC/FYI/STD/BCP Archives:
  16. How cable modems work:
  17. Wifi411: Online Wi-Fi Hot Spot Locator:
  18. WLAN links:
  19. Official Bluetooth Web Site:
  20. The Wi-Fi Alliance Home Page:
  21. WiMAX Forum:
  22. WAP Resource Center:
  23. Planes and Trains: Wireless on the Move:
  24. WLANs Spreading to Hospitals:
  25. Case study: “Ubiquitous Network Societies: The Case of the Republic of Singapore”:
  26. HiperLAN/2: An efficient high speed WLAN
  27. Wireless LAN (WiFi) tutorials:
  28. How LAN switches work:
  29. IP addressing links:
  30. IP addressing and subnetting for new users:
  31. Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) overview:
  32. Online IP CIDR calculator:
  33. The IPv6 portal:
  34. Why you want IPv6:
  35. Security Focus:
  36. Symantec security response—search and latest virus threats page:
  37. Buffer overflow basics:
  38. Snort, a lightweight network intrusion detection system:
  39. Anti-phishing working group:
  40. National fraud information center:
  41. Nessus, an open-source vulnerability scanner:
  42. Spamassassin, an open-source spam filter:
  43. IETF IPSec charter:
  44. IPSec links:
  45. IPTables tutorial:
  46. How firewalls work:
  47. How Network Address Translation works:
  48. NAT links:
  49. Squid Web proxy cache:
  50. Proxy server links:
Book Title:Computer Networks and Internets, 6th ed.
Publication Info:Pearson
Author:Comer, Douglas E.
Unit Cost:$155.26
Electronic ISBN:9781323074091
Electronic Unit Cost:$35.00
Book Title:REFERENCE ONLY- Information Security Fundamentals, 2nd edition-This text will be REQUIRED in ISSC661 and ISSC680. This text will be used as a reference only for the other courses in the ISSC program. E-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Auerbach Publications
Author:Thomas R. Peltier
Unit Cost:$79.95

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.