Distance learning refers to an educational system where the educational offering is conducted online. The goal of distance learning is to provide access to the part of the population who would not be able to attend a physical campus. Students may not be able to attend a physical campus because they live too far from a physical campus to attend regular classes; and/or the students require the flexibility to study at home.
The students have access to classes, class content, tests, homework, grades, and assessments. There is also a social space where students and teacher can interact through threaded discussions or chat.
Institutions providing distance learning must verify that the server containing the class content (typically video streams), and class conferencing software (for interactions among students and the teacher) is sufficiently robust so that students on the slowest speed connections have an acceptable "experience" with the distance learning solution.
The Maxwell Network Emulator permits an IT manager to emulate multiple students accessing the distance learning server over a range of connection types. The IT manager may dial in a "scenario" that emulates the performance of the connection under adverse network conditions for each student. In this way, the IT manager can appropriately characterize and provision the load on the server to assure that each student has a positive experience with the distance learning application.