Howard Gitlow | VMWare Horizon

VMWare Horizon (A Cloud Based OS) – MEMBAAA-MAS641

This case study examines why Instructional Objectives are developed as the first step in the instructional design process, rather than jumping directly to instructional solutions. The main idea is that objective-based instruction leads to, or provides a path toward the the instructor’s needs. This allows developers to seek technical solutions according to the needs of the subject matter expert. That is if an Instructional designer establishes the need, then a developer finds solutions to problems, rather than allowing technology to limit or rewrite the curriculum. In the current example, it was found that it was best to exhaust all campus resources to search for alternative solutions. It is quite possible for you to find someone else on campus who has already solved your problem. In current case we used VMWare Horizon (a cloud based OS) to solve a technical issue, rather than limit the professor to less desirable learning outcomes.

Case Study in Brief

Course: MEMBAAA-MAS641 – Operations Research Models In Management

Instructor: Dr. Howard Gitlow

Number of Students: 41

Semester: Fall 2015

Duration: Fall Semester


The purpose of this VMWare Horizon solution is to provide learners with software that might not otherwise be available. College of Engineering students have had access for 7 years. This program allows the user to login to this software product whether from a Macintosh or a PC for. They are instantly provided with an entire cloud based PC desktop within a new window, similar to a VPN window. VMware Horizon is a cloud-based operating system, otherwise known as an eDesktop.


This is a temporary solution as Academic Technologies is currently developing a campus wide cloud desktop service. Academic Technologies is currently evaluating several products that provide similar results.

Technology Required

VMWare Horizon
Mac or PC
Internet access

Application to Other Courses

A campus-wide eDesktop or cloud OS is being developed by Academic Technologies and may soon be available to all courses at the University. Faculty may make use of this technical solution to give students access to technologies that they may not otherwise have access to.

Cloud Based OS Implementation

Dr Gitlow, a Management Science professor, in the School of Business was concerned that many of our online students were using Macintosh computers, but the Mac version of his statistical software (Minitab) was unable to handle the statistical procedures that he wanted them to learn. After researching alternative solutions, the College of Engineering Dean Dr Asfour, was contacted and an agreement was made between the College of Engineering and the School of Business Administration. This agreement will benefit graduate students in our MBA for Artists and Athletes program. The alternative solution was expensive. An important point is that although technical obstacles may present themselves, sometimes the most apparent solution is not always the most cost effective, or even the simplest. The School of Business was considering spending $80,000 to buy student laptops. Now by using VMWare Horizon students can access the software they need from their own computer. The College of Engineering simply asked for software licensing costs (only $5000).

Instructor Perspective

After I agreed to teach a Management Science course in the Athletes and Artists MBA program, I worked closely with Dr. David Lewis (an Instructional designer from the School of Business). I prepared the syllabus, designed the Power Point slides, and shot and edited video lectures. Once this was done Dr. Lewis and I discovered that 66% of the students had Apple computers. Unfortunately, Apple computers do not support the statistical package that I believe is the optimal one for teaching the material in my course. This meant that I was going to have to learn a new statistical package that is difficult to use, in my opinion, and does not perform many of the statistical functions with all the bells and whistles that are in Minitab. I was EXTREMELY frustrated that my Athletes and Artists course would turn into a “how to use the computer software” course instead of a “how to manage a business” course. As stated above, through cooperation with the College of Engineering faculty (Dr. Asfour and Dr. Zak), Black Board staff (Rick Ramos and Jose Baez), and School of Business faculty and staff (Dr. Mehrotra, Ms. Wallace, and Dr. Lewis) we were able to find an inexpensive and superior solution to the problem. Instead of buying all student Apple users a PC, we worked with the College of Engineering to use VMWare Horizon software which allows both types of computers to access Minitab. This is one of the times in my 38 years at the U. that intercollege cooperation really paid off big time. I also thinks it opens the door for future intercollege collaborations.