Virtual desktop program

The virtual desktop project is part of the overall TLC Learning Networks program that has been funded through a Federal Government capital fund.

The virtual desktop improves flexibility and choice for students whilst making curriculum specific software easily accessible across a range of formal and informal learning spaces.

The project is valued at $3.6M with a timespan of 2.5 years.

History

Virtual desktop was initiated as a project in 2010 when a successful pilot was delivered to 200 students.

Positive feedback was received with 87% of students rating their experience and ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ and 97% recognising benefits in having a virtual desktop service across the University.

On the back of a successful pilot, the project created and delivered a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) service. By the close of 2011, three University access labs were running VDI along with the new Wentworth Learning Hub. Students and academics took advantage of the new service with final year exams successfully taking place on VDI technology in the Madsen access lab in November 2011. The project communicated with over 300 faculty staff to gain an understanding of the teaching and learning software being used by students. This data was then used to identify and deliver the most appropriate teaching and learning software into the solution.

In 2012 the technology has been successfully deployed to the new TLC spaces in Carslaw, PNR and Wallace. The service caters for over 15,000 student owned virtual desktops and close to 300 software applications supporting teaching and learning applications.

Next Steps

The remainder of the project will deliver:

  • A service to deliver virtual curriculum applications onto student owned devices such as laptops and tablets
  • Backend infrastructure to support 4,500 fixed seats on University owned equipment and 2,500 concurrent sessions for student owned devices
  • Conversion of the TLC Pods to incorporate virtual desktop technology
  • Finally, the project will handover operational and support processes to relevant teams by end of June 2012

Benefits

The virtual desktop is the piece that ‘networks’ our new learning spaces by giving students a personalised virtual desktop that can be tailored towards curriculum needs. Students have access to their own App Store where they can access hundreds of software items. The desktop interface can be customised to suit individual preferences with language, appearance and bookmarks all customisable.

Contact

For further information on the virtual desktop program, please contact the Project Manager,