Int. J. of Learning Technology   »   2010 Vol.5, No.1



Title: From virtual machines to actual systems – realising the potential of virtualisation technologies for teaching, learning, and assessment in 'computing' education


Author: Sean Duignan, Tony Hall


Department of Mathematics and Computing, School of Science, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland.
School of Education, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland


Abstract: The authors are motivated to provide engaging, meaningful situated learning experiences for their computing/information systems students. Traditionally, this requires dedicated laboratory resources so that students can utilise hardware and software unconstrained; a requirement that is difficult to realise as 'teaching laboratories' become more interdisciplinary and as spatial and financial resources become scarcer. Consequently, we have found ourselves in the limited position of having to work within a constrained generic pedagogical environment while requiring an unconstrained exploratory one. This has led us to investigate the use of virtualisation technology for teaching, learning and assessment – technology that has made it possible for us to teach highly specialised courses in rudimentary laboratories, providing meaningful hands-on learning experiences for our students. In this paper, we describe our motivations, designs, implementations, assessment methods and outcomes. Additionally, we consider the potential for virtualisation technologies, particularly as an e-portfolio 'container' within computing-related educational programs.


Keywords: technology enhanced learning; situated learning; virtualisation technology; virtual machines; computing education; information systems education; learning technology; teaching; assessment.


DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2010.031614


Int. J. of Learning Technology, 2010 Vol.5, No.1, pp.25 - 41


Available online: 15 Feb 2010



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