An Analysis of Students' Perspectives in using Virtual Labs in an Undergraduate IT Course

Nada Alharbie, Rukshan I. Athauda, and Simon Simon


Virtual labs, Cloud Computing, Learning Environments


Access to computing laboratory facilities is an integral part in teaching/learning environments in higher education today. However, usage model of traditional computer laboratories has many limitations. The use of virtualised computing laboratories, enabled by cloud and virtualization technologies, aims to overcome many of these limitations. However, the use of virtualised labs in higher education institutions is still in its infancy and many questions remain unanswered. In this paper, we outline a pilot implementation of a virtual lab environment using Cloud technologies in an undergraduate IT course. We evaluate the student experience from a number of perspectives through quantitative and qualitative survey responses. Our results are show positive response and attitudes to the use of such technologies by students and also gain some useful insights.

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