December 27, 2008

Laboratory Management: Automation of Computer Laboratories Research Proposal Example



Already proven is the fact that computer laboratories are extremely beneficial for employees and students utilisation. Computer laboratories, which are commonly directed by network administrators, serve as training facilities which aims to advance expertise and competence of the people especially the students. It is thereby important for equally knowledgeable and competent network administrators to effectively administer such facility. Network administrators refer to modern professional who are responsible for the maintenance of a compute network which is comprise of computer hardware and software. They are expected to perform functions of deployment, configuration, maintenance and monitoring of active network equipment.

Inside computer laboratories, administrators are obliged to schedule laboratory activities promptly, to optimize occupancy and to facilitate better resource planning. Administrators are also asked to determine shortages of materials and equipments and estimate needed quantities. In addition, supervisors are required to make sure that the computer facilities are functioning and to report incidences of malfunctions when necessary. At times, supervisors are also asked to employ corrective and preventive actions when needed. Doing these responsibilities manually could be a tedious task and so there is the necessity to automate major processes inside the computer laboratory.

            This document proposes to investigate automation of computer laboratories via LAN (local area network) that purports on assisting network administrators on their supervision functions. LAN refers to a computer network that covers a geographic location such as home, office or school at a much higher data-transfer rates and smaller geographic range minus the need for leased telecommunication lines. The key question that the research will seek to answer is: Is LAN integration in computer laboratories beneficial to network administrators? In lieu with this, the following specific questions will be addressed.

1)     What are the advantages and disadvantages of using LAN inside computer laboratories?

2)     How the integration of LAN system inside computer laboratories could help network administrators?

3)     What are the specific duties and responsibilities of network administrators the LAN integration could help in?

4)     How valuable is the utilisation of LAN inside computer laboratories?

Literature Review

The study will review a document and present related literatures. This will include literatures from John Fryer Preece, Paul Preece and John Preece; Lee Chao; and Magued Iskander. Aside from literatures of computer laboratory management and LAN network administrators, the researcher will also conduct a literature review of automation tools in computer laboratories and automated laboratories management system and others will be discussed in the literature review section of the actual study in details so as the reader will have references about the different concepts and elements used in the study.

Research Methodology

Descriptive research will be used in the study. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and process that are on-going, effects that are being felt or trends that are developing. In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994). Basically, a descriptive research utilizes observations and surveys. It is for this particular reason that this approach was chosen by the researcher, whose intention is to gather first hand data from different computer laboratories that uses LAN.

Moreover, this will allow for a flexible approach that when important new issues and questions arise at the duration of the study, a further investigation can be conducted. Also, with this type of approach, the researcher will be allowed to drop unproductive areas of research from the original plan of the study. Another advantage is that with this approach, the research will be fast and somehow cost-effective. Further, the primary sources of data will be the interviews that will be conducted by the researcher among network administrators working in 10 computer laboratories. Meanwhile, the secondary sources of data will come from published articles from computer-related journals, thesis and related studies on computer laboratory management.

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