ABSTRACT: This paper describes a classroom exercise utilizing a technique known as “discovery learning.” The activity involves a hands‐on lab composed of basic building blocks of a simple wireless network. Students engage in a physical activity that demonstrates the operation of individual layers of the seven‐layer Open Systems Interconnect model. In the process, they uncover conceptual knowledge normally delivered via means that are more traditional such as lecture or reading. During one such lab session, students stumbled upon a real‐world control breach. This discovery, completely unplanned by the instructor, vividly illustrated the critical importance of the topical material. The experience greatly increased student interest and motivation. Assessment data confirms that student comprehension and application is significantly enhanced.

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