You want to provide a platform for students to flexibly get access to materials from anywhere, e.g. their home PCs, laptop, etc. Universities will not have to invest in expensive laboratory facilities and staff.

You can create a template virtual machines and install the required software on it. Then, you may launch several copies of this pre-configured virtual machine — if you launched only one for all students to share, the workload on it may be a bit high, and students may experience problems with the computer’s performance. So you should distribute the workload over several machines. For example, if the students work in groups, you can assign one virtual machine for each group, and each student may have their own login on their groups virtual machine. If you are allowed enough resources on the NeCTAR Research Cloud, you could even assign one VM per student.

After the class is finished, you can shut down all the virtual machines and have no trouble with idle facilities or lost investment.

In the next term or session, when you run the class again, you may use the same pre-configured VM again, without the need to set it up again.

In Module 7, we will discuss how to set up a virtual machine. Part of this tutorial will include you installing software on it. In Module 9 we will then see how to create a snapshot of the pre-configured VM, and how to launch a new VM from it again. It is very easy to launch several copies of the same VM.