Networking Essentials

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CNS 105

       Course Name: Networking Essentials

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Recommend CIS 101 or CIS 103 or consent of instructor, coordinator or program chair.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces the technologies, terminology, and skills used in the world of data networking.  Emphasis is on practical applications of networking and computer technology to real-world problems. Students gain the knowledge necessary to design and install a local area network. Topics include network hardware and software requirements, and network architecture.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Define common networking terms and compare different network models
  2. Explain the purpose of network components
  3. Describe major LAN networking technologies
  4. Discuss and identify the different media used in network communications
  5. Differentiate among networking models, standards, and protocols
  6. Perform IPv4 subnetting and illustrate a LAN network
  7. Describe advanced features and operation of network devices
  8. Develop a network security policy to protect a network
  9. Describe commonly used WAN connections
  10. Build a network on a virtual machine
  11. Explain different approaches to network troubleshooting

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  • Introduction to Computer Networks
  • Network Hardware Essentials
  • Network Topologies and Technologies
  • Network Media
  • Network Protocols
  • IP Addressing
  • Network Reference Models and Standards
  • Network Hardware in Depth
  • Introduction to Network Security
  • Wide Area Network Essentials
  • Network Operating System Fundamentals
  • Network Management and Administration
  • Troubleshooting and Support

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lectures, class exercises and class discussion, perform lab exercises and projects.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  • Read course materials - textbook and current journals
  • Attend and participate in class lecture and lab
  • Complete required assignments, exercises, quizzes and exams

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

TEXTBOOKS:   Appropriate Textbook and Lab Manual
Hardware and software manuals
Computer equipment for setting up a computer networking

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Quizzes, examinations, completion of lab assignments, exercises, and one major LAN project.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.