Virtual Computer Labs - How to Use Cloud-Based Labs


Introduction

Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) provides a cloud-based virtual desktop service (Apporto) to faculty and students. Instructors choose a virtual desktop to be integrated with their Canvas sites. Students then launch a virtual desktop from within the course site. 

Using hardware-based labs, students can remotely connect to physical computers in TLOS computer labs. Due to licensing restrictions, some applications are not available in virtual computer labs.

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Instructions

Background

Cloud-based computer labs support Windows, Mac OS, and Linux virtualization, and include collaborative features such as screen sharing, faculty view of student desktops, faculty assistance by taking over students’ screens, and user profile persistence. Instructors can customize the operating system and software available to students. The cloud-based labs provide a consistent desktop experience for all users.

Please note: Instructors and/or departments are responsible for licensing the software made available via the cloud-based computer lab. The labs can only be used with software licensing that supports virtualization (e.g. not Adobe Creative Cloud applications). 

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Cloud-Based Virtual Computer Labs

Requesting a Cloud-based Lab Integration with Canvas

To request a lab:

  1. Fill out this form: Cloud-Based Computer Labs - Integrate with Canvas.
  2. You will be asked for: 
    • URL of the Canvas site
    • Which virtual desktop (see Available Desktops) you want integrated
    • Request software be added to a desktop (please note that instructors and/or departments are responsible for licensing the software)
  3. You can also request a consultation to discuss specific needs. 
Available Desktops

Desktop

Software

Windows

Matlab
COMSOL
Mathematica
SPSS
JMP
Respondus
R/RStudio
Tableau
Microsoft Office 2019
Read&Write
Equatio
Minitab

Windows vGPU

Siemens NX
PTC Creo
CATIA
DecisionCapture
ArcGIS Desktop
ArcGIS Pro
Python
PyMOL
Microsoft Office 2019
Read&Write
Equatio
Schrodinger Suite
Xming
PuTTy
MatLab
COMSOL
Keyshot 10
Visual Studio Code
Google Earth Pro

Macintosh Desktop

Xcode

See also Apporto's Help Center & Video Tutorials

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Accessing Cloud-based Labs

Students and instructors access cloud-based computer labs the same way: 

  1. Log in to Canvas with your PID and password.
  2. Go to the course with the integrated computer lab. 
  3. Click Modules in the course navigation menu.

    Image of the above instructions.

  4. Click the Apporto link in the Apporto module.

    Image of the above instuctions.

  5. Click Load Apporto in a new window and go to the new tab to see Apporto.
  6. Click Launch

    Image of the above instructions.

  7. The virtual desktop will open. 



Please note that for Macintosh Desktop users:

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Getting Help

Cloud-based labs

See Apporto's Help Center for Education.

Troubleshooting white screen when launching a virtual desktop

If you see a white screen when you launch a virtual desktop in Apporto: 

  1. Make sure you're using Google Chrome.
  2. Do a hard refresh of your browser:
    • Windows: Hold Ctnl and F5
    • Mac: Hold Cmd and Shift then press R.
  3. Clear the cache in Chrome. See Clear cache & cookies.
I can't submit a request for my Canvas course

If your primary affiliation is not VT-Faculty or VT-Staff, you will not be able to fill out the Cloud-Based Computer Labs - Integrate with Canvas form. Instead, go to the 4Help Portal, log in, and click Get Help. We will need the following information:

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