CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Implementation of Wireless LAN in a University Environment: The Western Michigan University Haworth College of Business Case Study

Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Howard Poole

Committee Member

John A. Scigliano

Abstract

The purpose of this researcher in this study was to investigate how a post-secondary educational institution can effectively integrate a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) into the teaching and learning environment. This dissertation investigation featured guidelines for planning, analyzing, designing, integrating, and supporting a WLAN at the Haworth College of Business (COB) at Western Michigan University (WMU), located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The method of inquiry used to describe the Haworth COB wireless initiative was the case study, with embedded units of analysis. This investigator explored and identified wireless technology solutions for meeting Haworth COB's curricular needs. The curricular needs were identified through surveys completed by administrators, faculty, staff, and students. In addition, interviews with key network personnel were conducted to identify capabilities and limitations of the wireless network solution. Findings indicated usage of the wireless network enhanced faculty and student communication, increased accessibility to resources, and increased productivity. Further, findings indicated improved classroom and lecture hall instruction and increased collaborative learning experiences as a result of accessibility to wireless applications.

Further, this investigator developed a model for implementing a WLAN for curricular enhancement and enrichment at the Haworth COB. The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) model provided the theoretical framework for a systematic and structured approach for describing the WLAN solution. The model can contribute to the advancement of research in the study of wireless utilization in the post-secondary environment.

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