In the last decade, virtual computer laboratories have been successfully used to provide students with hands-on experimentation in information technology fields in a cost effective and secure manner. In this paper, we study the effect of collaborative learning on student perception and acceptance of virtual computing as a learning medium. Virtual computing is a relatively new technology and can be intimidating for students at times with limited information technology background. Students can feel overwhelmed as they follow voluminous and tedious step-by-step information technology activities that are not very familiar to them. Collaborative learning can help to alleviate such problems and enhance the student experience of using a virtual computer laboratory in different ways. To investigate the effect of collaborative work on student experience in virtual computer laboratories and their acceptance of this new technology, we conducted empirical studies where two groups of students (with technology and non-technology backgrounds) performed two types of hands-on activities. These types were individual and collaborative in nature and were conducted in a virtual computer laboratory. Then, we compared the experiences of the two groups across the types of hands-on exercises. The preliminary findings show that novice students benefited more from collaborative learning when compared to more experienced, and probably more technologically competent, students.