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Peer Review

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3 stars
Ease of Use: 3.5 stars
Reviewed: Feb 21, 2006 by Information Technology Editorial Board
Overview: This basic reference material presents a not-overly-technical view of DSL made
up of short topics. The material includes an introduction to DSL, telephone
bandwidth, types of DSL, distance issues, signaling, filters and related
equipment. There are links to more technical information regarding DSL and to
related network topics.
Type of Material: This is reference material. It includes text with illustrations.
Recommended Uses: This could be used as a ice breaker or as student notes. It would be useful as either primary or supplemental presentation.
Technical Requirements: Computer with a browser and a connection to the Internet. A printer may be
Identify Major Learning Goals: After reading this material, the student should be able to describe how DSL and
voice co-exist on one line, identify the equipment needed to deliver the DSL
service and be able to name several variations of DSL service. The student will
be able to identify a limitation of the DSL service. It covers concepts and terms associated with DSL.
Target Student Population: The material is at a high school level or undergraduate college level.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: General knowledge of computer connectivity.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The material is simply and directly written for the novice. The modules are
short and the information is easy to grasp. There is a table of contents for
direct access to various sections.

Good basic description of DSL. Material is accurate and up-to-date. Good use of
hyperlinks to additional resources.

Well presented, easy to follow.
Concerns: The linked terms do not go to a glossary, but to another lesson package.
Descriptions relating to DSL and ADSL are mixed in several sections, potentially
confusing the reader.

Page layout and advertising on the pages is distracting.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: The material is clear enough to let the student go through it unaided. It has
some graphics to support the visual learner.

Links provide students with possibility to explore the subject in greater

Good presentation of material.
Concerns: Although this site does not sell directly, it has commercial interests
represented in some of its links related to this topic. The first page has an
"here's an idea" section that looks like it might be an activity. It is a
commercial interest. Due to the highlighted terms going to a subject matter
module rather than a glossary, the student might be distracted. There are no
activities, summaries or tests of knowledge gained.

Too much advertising surrounding content, can be overly distracting from
concepts being presented.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: The material is easy to access and to navigate through. Relatively simple explanation. Easy to use.
Concerns: The material is crowded with commercial interests. Pages are too short, requiring too frequent clicks on next button. A lot of short pages that have to be navigated.