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Work in progress — Portable Student Labs implementation

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1 Author(s)
Seeling, P. ; Univ. of Wisconsin-Stevens, Stevens, WI, USA

While experiential learning through hands-on laboratory units can improve student learning outcomes, traditionally the provisioning and maintenance of dedicated computer laboratories is a costly and time-intensive undertaking. Virtualization can alleviate some of the associated problems, especially when the lab units under consideration are software-based. While virtualization has attracted a great deal of research and implementations to date, some its potential benefits are not utilized when institutions have to provide and maintain fully virtualized environments. In this paper, we introduce Portable Student Labs (PSLabs) based on the QEMU virtualization environment. PSLabs are fully portable virtualized environments that students obtain and afterwards execute either in common computing facilities available on-campus or on their individual computing equipment, thus eliminating the need for dedicated (lab-specific) computing hardware or virtual environments. In addition to the general functionality, we describe typical considerations for the process of creating the PSLabs and its delivery to students.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2010 IEEE

Date of Conference:

27-30 Oct. 2010