Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Terrence O’Connor

Second Advisor

Kaitlynn Gokey

Third Advisor

Nasheen Nur

Fourth Advisor

Sneha Sudhakaran


Remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the educational landscape for hands-on Computer Science courses. This paradigm shift accelerated the transition from traditional in-person programming labs to decentralized student-provided resources. Even as students returned to in-person learning, many continued to rely on their personal computers rather than embracing university-provided labs. However, this shift to decentralized, heterogeneous environments introduces various information technology and instructional challenges. The recent emergence of lightweight, container-based virtualization presents a unique opportunity to address these challenges by offering standardized environments on decentralized platforms. To investigate this opportunity, we implemented lightweight virtualization for three undergraduate computer science courses with a total enrollment of 188 students. To understand the challenges and successes of implementing these environments, we surveyed 42 students before, during, and after the three courses. Our survey responses identified that 84% of students adopted our standardized environments, with 75% indicating it contributed to their success. We believe that sharing our experience will prove valuable for instructors who wish to explore adopting container-based virtualization to reduce student anxiety in the modern classroom.


Copyright held by author.