Transforming Traditional Labs into Virtual Computing Labs for Distance Education


  • Gokhan Gercek University of Houston Clear Lake
  • Naveed Saleem University of Houston Clear Lake



On-line Lab, Computing Lab, Distance Education, Virtual Presence, Remote Access Labs


Abstract---The demand for on-line courses continues to rise in academia because (1) on-line courses remove time barriers that would otherwise restrict a student from pursuing academic endeavors, (2) they remove the distance barriers for academia in reaching potential students and (3) they can to some extent alleviate budgetary and physical constraints on the academia in imparting education to students. The on-line instruction mode rather easily accommodates courses in some disciplines such as history, sociology, and political science. However, it posits significant adoption challenges for courses that require hands-on computing experimentation such as computer networking, system administration, web application development and database administration. Nevertheless, given the demand for on-line courses, there is a need to devise strategies that would allow students to conduct computing experiments through remote access. This paper presents an approach to transform traditional computer labs into a virtual lab environment. Such transformation allows students to remotely conduct experiments that involve software and hardware interaction. The methodology presented here can be applied to a large number of computing courses encountered in Management Information Systems and Computer Sciences disciplines.

Author Biographies

Gokhan Gercek, University of Houston Clear Lake

Gokhan Gercek is an Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems at School of Business, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Arizona State University in 1986, and joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Iowa State University, as a tenure-track faculty. In 1989, he joined Lockheed-Martin Corporation as a principal engineer in Houston, Texas, and worked at various NASA, USA, programs and projects through Lockheed-Martin. Furthermore, he also consulted in computer networking and computer security areas. In 2002, he joined University of Houston-Clear Lake. Dr. Gercek has presented several research papers in professional conferences and seminars. His primary research interests include computer network design, network security, and network performance.

Naveed Saleem, University of Houston Clear Lake

Naveed Saleem is Professor of Management Information Systems at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He earned his Ph.D. in Management Science and Information Systems from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. His research interests include system development strategies; database development, administration and security; web database applications; data warehousing; data mining; etc. His research papers have been published in Journal of Management Information Systems, Management of End-User Computing, Computer Personnel, Software Development Strategies, EDP Audit and Security, Journal of Nursing Administration, Computers in Nursing, Handbook of IS Management, International Journal of Commerce and Management, and Journal of Business Disciplines. He is also Oracle Certified Professional as Application Developer, Database Administrator, and Database Operator.




How to Cite

Gercek, G., & Saleem, N. (2008). Transforming Traditional Labs into Virtual Computing Labs for Distance Education. International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE), 4(1).