Here’s a short preview of our latest accepted paper (to appear at CSEDU 2015), about the construction of VMs for the Relational Database MOOC using Vagrant, Debian, PostgreSQL (previous post), etc. :
Designing a virtual laboratory for a relational database MOOC
Olivier Berger, J Paul Gibson, Claire Lecocq and Christian Bac
Keywords: Remote Learning, Virtualization, Open Education Resources, MOOC, Vagrant
Abstract: Technical advances in machine and system virtualization are creating opportunities for remote learning to
provide significantly better support for active education approaches. Students now, in general, have personal
computers that are powerful enough to support virtualization of operating systems and networks. As a conse-
quence, it is now possible to provide remote learners with a common, standard, virtual laboratory and learn-
ing environment, independent of the different types of physical machines on which they work. This greatly
enhances the opportunity for producing re-usable teaching materials that are actually re-used. However, con-
figuring and installing such virtual laboratories is technically challenging for teachers and students. We report
on our experience of building a virtual machine (VM) laboratory for a MOOC on relational databases. The
architecture of our virtual machine is described in detail, and we evaluate the benefits of using the Vagrant tool
for building and delivering the VM.
- A brief history of distance learning
- Virtualization : the challenges
- The design problem
- The virtualization requirements
- Scenario-based requirements
- Related work on requirements
- Scalability of existing approaches
- The MOOC laboratory
- Exercises and lab tools
- From requirements to design
- Making the VM as a Vagrant box
- Portability issues
- Delivery through Internet
- Availability of the box sources
- Reliability Issues with VirtualBox
- Student feedback and evaluation
- Future work
- Laboratory monitoring
- More modular VMs
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