Which Way Should We Go? Answers Which Way Should We Go? (Instructor Version – Optional Lab)

Instructor Note: Red font color or gray highlights indicate text that appears in the instructor copy only. Optional activities are designed to enhance understanding and/or to provide additional practice.


Explain the benefits of using static routes.

This chapter focuses on static routing and dynamic routing. This modeling activity helps students to think about how they can choose a path different from the best path for network communication.


A huge sporting event is about to take place in your city. To attend the event, you make concise plans to arrive at the sports arena on time to see the entire game.

There are two routes you can take to drive to the event:

  • Highway route – It is easy to follow and fast driving speeds are allowed.
  • Alternative, direct route – You found this route using a city map. Depending on conditions, such as the amount of traffic or congestion, this just may be the way to get to the arena on time!

With a partner, discuss these options. Choose a preferred route to arrive at the arena in time to see every second of the huge sporting event.

Compare your optional preferences to network traffic, which route would you choose to deliver data communications for your small- to medium-sized business? Would it be the fastest, easiest route or the alternative, direct route? Justify your choice.

Complete the modeling activity .pdf and be prepared to justify your answers to the class or with another group.

Required Resources



1. Which route did you choose as your first preference? On what criteria did you base your decision?
Students’ answers will vary. Some will choose the fastest, easiest route and some will choose the alternate, direct-route. Criteria mentioned may include time constraints, speed of the route, traffic congestion on the route, and ease of following the route.

2. If traffic congestion were to occur on either route, would this change the path you would take to the arena?
Explain your answer.
Most students would change their path in order to arrive at the sports arena on time. Others will decide to keep on the same path to the arena hoping that traffic congestion will subside. In either case, most will appreciate having a choice of routes.

3. A popular phrase that can be argued is “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” Is this always true with delivery of network data? How do you compare your answer to this modeling activity scenario?
Again, traffic can impact the route chosen. Sometimes it may be necessary to choose an alternate path for data delivery. Sometimes the alternate path will allow your data to be delivered more quickly than using the fastest path.

Identify elements of the model that map to IT-related content:

  • Routers use routing protocols to record dynamic routes in their routing tables to indicate best-path delivery.
  • The best-path delivery method can be changed to a manually configured path called a static route.
  • A floating static route can be configured on a router to provide an alternate or backup path if the dynamic route becomes inoperable at any time.


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