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The National e-Learning Laboratory (NELL)

The National e-Learning Laboratory (NELL) allows researchers to systematically explore and improve the use of learning and knowledge-based technologies. The laboratory consists of sophisticated hardware and software that can observe up to four participants simultaneously.

It also has four analytical stations for researchers. User behaviour and screen interactions are investigated using combinations of video and audio recording, screen-capture, precision keyboard & mouse logging and eye tracking.

Powerful analytical software produces quantitative and qualitative reports that can then be used to inform screen design, content development, effectiveness of functionality and target group suitability for a wide range of screen-based applications.

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NELL enables researchers to observe, record and analyse the behaviour of students interacting with e-learning resources. This data allows researchers to evaluate the students' learning experience in terms of the quality of engagement, learning gain, efficiency, effectiveness and usability.

Learning scenarios observed in NELL include but are not limited to:

  • Learners using a LCMS

  • Learners using an on-line course

  • Learners using a course component

  • Learners collaborating with other learners

  • Learners interacting with tutors

  • Teachers and tutors creating learning activities


Areas of Investigation

  • Design

  • Engagement

  • Navigation

  • User testing

  • Analytical research

  • User retention

  • Task completions

  • Acceptance



Jane Liu
Centre for Research and Innovation in Learning and Teaching

Phone: 01 4498664
Email: jane.liu@ncirl.ie

This project is funded by Enterprise Ireland


get in touch

Online Enquiry