It appears that there are many motivators that instructors use to make students follow and even enjoy the material taught in computer networking courses. The really strong motivators seem to fall broadly into three categories:
- Competition and games between students or groups of students.
- Implementation of real-world protocols and systems where students build something that can be used (by them) afterwards (in principle).
- Trapping students into developing wrong solutions can be a tool to make them think critically and to make them realize the need to adopt a clear methodology.
The last one seems to be especially strong. I will try some more of these in the near future.