Virtual Computer Lab (VCL)

What is Virtual Computer Lab?

Virtual Computer Lab (VCL) is a cloud-based service that allows you to run Windows-based software through a web browser.

  • VCL is available only during the virtual learning period to provide special access to certain specialized academic software while students and faculty are away from campus (with the exception of SPH - refer to section below).
  • VCL allows entitled users to access university-licensed applications 24-hours a day from home or any location with an active internet connection.
  • VCL provides access to these environments through a virtual desktop running Windows OS.
  • It is not necessary to be on GW campus or VPN in order to access the Virtual Computer Lab.

What software is available?

  • ArcGIS (ArcCatalog, ArcGlobe, ArcMap, ArcScene)
  • Cloud Mounter for Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox
  • GeoDa
  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Office 2016 (Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word)
  • Notepad++
  • Nvivo
  • Python
  • R x64
  • RStudio
  • SAS
  • SPSS
  • Stata 

Please note: School-specific virtual desktops & labs may have additional software

Before you begin

  • You must have an active GW Net ID to log in.
  • All GW students, faculty, and staff have access to the Virtual Computer Lab.
  • VCL is not intended for synchronous class use at this time (with the exception of SPH - refer to section below).
  • VCL supports a finite number of concurrent connections. During peak times, you may receive an error message stating that “no licenses are available at this time, please try again later.”
  • Please be sure to save your files to an external source (i.e. Box, Google Drive) before you log off each VCL session. Data stored in the Virtual Computer Lab will be permanently deleted at the end of each semester without notice. Unfortunately, support staff cannot retrieve any lost files.
  • Please use a HTML5 compatible web browser (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge). To ensure an optimal experience with VCL, it is recommended to use an internet connection with bandwidth of 1 Mbps or greater,and low latency of less than 50ms (test your internet speed).

How to access the Virtual Computer Lab

  1. Visit the Virtual Computer Lab portal
  2. Click on the “Log in” button
  3. Enter your GW credentials. This will be the same as your GW email account.
  4. After a successful login, click on “Launch” to connect to the virtual "LAI Desktop" or school-specific application.
  5. At initial launch, the system will walk you through a brief tutorial. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Please review our online, step-by-step introductory video for additional support accessing the Virtual Computer Lab. 

For technical assistance or questions, please contact the Solutions Center at acadtech@gwu.edu or (202) 994-7900

How to access the Virtual Computer Lab for School of Public Health (SPH) Courses

SPH instructors must submit the VCL Access Request Form to obtain access for their course. VCL system access is typically granted within 1-2 business days of form submissions. 

  1. Visit Virtual Computer Lab portal
  2. Click on the “Log in” button
  3. Enter your GW credentials. This will be the same as your GW email account.
  4. After a successful login, click on “Launch” button under the "SPH Desktop" to connect. If you do not see "SPH Desktop," please contact your instructor to make sure access has been granted.
  5. At initial launch, the system will walk you through a brief tutorial. Follow the on-screen instructions.

 

For technical assistance or questions, please contact the Solutions Center at acadtech@gwu.edu or (202) 994-7900