Remote ECE/ENTS Classroom Resources

An overview of the available remote classroom options for ECE students in Fall 2020.

In an effort to make as many remote resources available to students as possible and in response to the spacing required between physical workstations in the ECE labs, the following options are encouraged for Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Telecommunications graduate program for Fall 2020. 

None of the methods below are encouraged over others unless communicated by the course instructor. However, please know that there are limited physical workstations in the labs and during class hours the in-session course is given priority over open lab use.

Available to All Students at UMD


Some software has a student version available. You can find those student versions and/or associated directions at If you are able to download software packages and run them on your local computer, this is a good way to directly interact with your work. It eliminates the need for a VPN in most cases and allows you to work as long as you want without limited resources or session timeouts.

Virtual Desktops

The University has provided virtual desktops for remote access. These desktops have a large set of software available. This allows students do their work without installing class software on their personal computers. This is also an ideal tool for anyone using Chromebooks or other similarly limited devices to access the software needed for their courses. Please see this web page for more information. 

Available to All Engineering Students

Virtual Computer Lab

The VCL is hosted on site and remotely accessible from lab workstations as well as home computers. The VCL is a shared resource and limited to customers working on classroom projects and homework. The VCL is not necessarily a good resource for long-running simulations or resource-intensive projects. You can access the VCL and all associated instructions at Please be sure to read the page carefully before logging in. 

Most Engineering course software will be available on the VCL. If you need something that is not there, please inquire at

Freeware and Student Versions

One of the most forgotten resources is freeware. Software is available from some companies for free or to students who sign up using an educational account ( It's always a good idea to check to see if something is available so that it can be downloaded and installed on a local computer. Several software packages installed in the ECE labs fit into this category. 

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) / Telecommunications (ENTS) Specific Resources

Many ECE and ENTS students are used to coming into the AV Williams Building and directly accessing computers in the labs. Unfortunately, due to social distancing requirements, many of those workstations are not going to be physically accessible this fall. Engineering IT and Technical Operations have made every effort to keep the labs running smoothly and effectively for all of our on site courses. We have also made other workstations remotely accessible. Please read the following descriptions carefully.

On Site Lab Courses

In the event that your course will continue to be held in person in AVW, you may notice that the course has been shifted to a different room or that additional spacing has been placed between lab workstations. Workstations that should be used in person are clearly marked and will have keyboard and mice placed in front of them. Please continue to use these workstations during your class hours. 

If these workstations are in open labs, the workstations can be used during non-class times. As mentioned above, priority for these workstations will always be given to any course that is currently in session. These workstations will never be available for remote access. Conflicts between in-person instruction and remote access will not be possible. 

Remote Access Workstations

In the past, the Windows workstations have not been available for remote access in the labs. To accommodate the lack of open lab space with social distancing, we have changed this rule. Workstations that are in the labs that do not have on-site access (no keyboards, mice, and/or monitors) will be available to students working off site. 

Remotely accessible workstations can be found on our portal at Please note that the Pulse Secure VPN is required for access to these computers. 

The Windows workstations in the ECE/ENTS labs are shared for many different courses. It is not necessary to connect to a remote workstation in a particular room to continue your work. For example, the images assigned to the workstations in AVW 1442 and 2446 are the same and the images assigned to AVW 1454 and 1458 are the same. As always, do not store any data locally on the computer, as the computer may be restarted and the data lost. 

In an effort to be as fair as possible with remote access to these classroom workstations, sessions are limited to 6 hours and an idle time of 1 hour is in place. If you need a longer session, please consider another of the options above.

Special Topics Computers 

Some classrooms may be configured for special topics courses or may have workstations other than Windows workstations. Please consult with your course instructor regarding access to these rooms and/or computers. The service desk will have limited access and troubleshooting ability for these computers

If you have any further questions or concerns about remote access or classroom software, please contact the EIT Service Desk at

Keywords:ece labs teaching ents online vcl classroom class 1442 2446 jasmine open lab remote desktop labstats course software access   Doc ID:105038
Owner:Gwen F.Group:University of Maryland Engineering IT
Created:2020-08-18 10:18 EDTUpdated:2021-02-02 10:13 EDT
Sites:University of Maryland Engineering IT
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