Virtual Learning Environments

A virtual learning environment involves the use of a number of different technologies to provide students with a place to access their learning materials anytime, anywhere.

The traditional model of a learning environment requires students to attend lectures, recitations, and other activities by traveling from one location to another. This has a number of disadvantages for many students who may be unable to to attend a regular classroom for instruction.

A Virtual Learning Environment comprises several different tools in order to create a ubiquitous environment in which learning takes place anywhere, anytime:

WebEx

WebEx sessions allow students too interact with instructors in a virtual learning space. Instructors can record WebEx sessions for archival purposes and to enable asynchronous learning for distance students. Most WebEx activities at Missouri S&T are coordinated through the Video Communications Center (VCC).


Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Virtual desktop infrastructure allows students and instructors to access the same computer from any other computer in the world. Essentially students and instructors use Windows Remote Desktop to access a virtual machine hosted in the campus Data Center. This virtual system has all the functionality of a standard campus desktop build, but with the key advantage of being accessible to anyone at anytime (only campus customers--Missouri S&T students, faculty, and staff are able to access campus systems). Furthermore, custom software applications can be installed on these systems, meaning students needing a particular software package such as Camtasia would not have to find a computer lab on campus with Camtasia, but could access the virtual desktop instead.