WHAT IS LAB CONTENT ?
(This blog is a follow on to our recent posting “What is a Computer Lab?”)
Lab content is made up of the following 4 pieces:
- Lab Instructions
- Scripts and Programs
Computer lab environments include a combination of computers/servers, operating system and application software, memory and storage, internal/external networks and network devices. Physical systems also require power, space, cooling and management. System resources are physical or a combination of physical and virtual. Virtual system images may also be programmable. Resources may also be dedicated or shared as in a private or public cloud network.
Often developed by subject matter experts, lab instructions provide detailed step-by-step system or application level commands that allow a user/student to complete a pre-designed hands-on learning scenario. Instructions may be in writing (pdf, html) or presented as a video. In either case written instructions are usually accompanied by graphics that allow users/students to stay on track. In a classroom or at an event, instructors or teachers assistants are often available to answer additional questions that users/students may have. Lab instructions are often part of a course that also contains lecture content delivered by an instructor or by video.
SCRIPTS and PROGRAMS
Hands-on labs have a beginning, middle and an end. Users/Students are active participants. Instructions demand user inputs and create system outputs and results. By stepping through a hands-on scenario experiential learning happens. To enhance the lab experience, labs may include scripts and programs that create a pre-populated system/software environment. Scripts (JSON, CloudFormation) or programs may also automatically add data or resources to a lab giving users/students a real world production environment experience.
Lab environments require support on multiple levels. Users require support when they have a question or if something does not function properly. Labs and lab instructions need to be supported when revisions are required by hardware, software, network or service changes that may require lab updates. Software, program or script updates may require lab updates. Physical systems and data centers require support and maintenance to insure availability. Labs delivered worldwide require global support.
WHAT IS qwikLABS®?
qwikLABS® is a single public cloud-based platform that liberates hands-on computer lab creation, management and utilization. Used by lab creators, trainers, administrators, coordinators and users/students, qwikLABS® delivers live computer/software labs as a service to users/students anywhere, anytime on any device.
The qwikLABS® platform takes full advantage of public cloud technology, delivering clients a cost effective time to market and scale. The qwikLABS® implementation is designed to solve the complex business problems presented by running a hands-on software lab environment globally. qwikLABS® platform users are able to manage and control a consistent environment while delivering labs anywhere around the world.