Facilitating Experience and Re-experience: The Role of ‘Virtualisation’ in Information Systems Development Education

  • Sean Duignan
  • Tony Hall


This chapter describes the use of virtualisation technologies to facilitate teaching and learning on educational programmes in Information Systems (IS). Platform virtualisation is particularly beneficial to learning in this area as it allows for core system components to be visualised by the learner rather than abstracted from her, which, in the experience of the authors is a characteristic of a deeper learning and understanding in the context of learning about information systems. The authors contend that there may be a tendency to abstract physical system design considerations in IS education, largely because teaching/classroom/laboratory infrastructures make it difficult to accommodate meaningful teaching and learning in the area of physical system design. The result may lead to an unbalanced programme offering, skewed toward the application of formal analytical techniques and tools to develop the logical information system, and devoid of meaningful experience of the physical system designs used to host these information systems. The authors are motivated to address this imbalance through the application of platform virtualisation technologies in the support of IS learning. An orienting theoretical framework is presented that highlights the significance and relevance of constructionist thinking, sociality, collaborative learning, the notion of a ‘spiral curriculum’, and the development of ‘habits of the mind’ in learners (in particular; developing and asking questions of ‘connection’ and ‘conjecture’). Experiences of teaching and learning with virtualisation technologies are presented, the future research objectives of the authors are presented and the case for virtualised appliances as a new type of electronic portfolio is posited.


Virtual Machine Information System Collaborative Learning Physical Machine Java Virtual Machine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Duignan
  • Tony Hall

There are no affiliations available

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