Virtual Labs: Connect to a Computer Whenever, Wherever

Image: DOVE desktop

Published on Sept. 23, 2020

Duquesne students are taking classes near and far from campus this semester. In the University's new HyFlex learning model, technology plays a key role in keeping students connected to campus wherever they're learning, from participating in class over Zoom to submitting assignments on Blackboard.

But challenges can arise if the device you use doesn't have access to software needed to complete your coursework. That's why Computing and Technology Services (CTS) has introduced Duquesne's online virtual environment (DOVE) to provide remote access to virtual computer labs.

Perks of using a virtual machine

A computing environment consists of several pieces, such as an operating system, software and apps, folders, drivers and even your desktop wallpaper. If you're using a personal computer, the computing environment is stored locally on the computer itself. Virtual machines (VMs), on the other hand, store their computing environment remotely on a server. This means you can access a VM 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from just about anywhere in the world.

With a VM's computing environment being stored on a server, you also don't have to worry about downloading extra software onto your computer that takes up storage space. Plus, you only need minimal computing power to connect to a VM's server, which is ideal for anyone using an older device or one that has limited computing power.

Learn anywhere with DOVE

DOVE provides remote access to VMs that feature popular academic software titles, including Microsoft Office, EndNote and SPSS. Two versions of DOVE are available at Duquesne: DOVE Student and DOVE Classroom.

DOVE Student offers students access to a Windows 10 computing environment similar to the one found in campus computer labs. DOVE Classroom provides remote access to an online classroom lab that features Windows OS, macOS and Linux VMs.

Faculty members must first request a DOVE Classroom virtual lab and then invite their students to the lab. Once invited, students will be able to access software and tools needed to complete their coursework for that specific class.

Connect to DOVE

Students can connect to DOVE Student by going to vdesktop.duq.edu, selecting VMWare Horizon HTML Access and signing in with their MultiPass username and password. Once signed in, select one of the available labs to connect to a DOVE Student VM.

If your professor is using a DOVE Classroom virtual lab, you need to register to the lab after being invited. After you've registered, go to labs.azure.com and sign in to access your classroom VM.

Whether you're using DOVE Student or DOVE Classroom, make sure to upload your files to a cloud storage service, such as Box or OneDrive. This ensures that you can access your files on any device you use, whether it's a VM or your personal computer.