Educational Informatics Laboratory (EILab)

Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Research on human-computer-human interactions, that is, human to human interactions as mediated by digital technologies

Area(s) of Expertise

The EILab coexists as both a physical and virtual space, designed for research at the intersection of education and informatics. It is an impressive physical space—a superbly equipped, digital observatory, located at the Faculty of Education at OntarioTechU in Oshawa, Canada­. It is also a dynamic virtual space, inhabited by the digitally connected minds of international researchers, sharing ideas, interests and practices in the emerging domain of educational informatics. Educational informatics is attracting the attention of a growing group of diverse kinds of researchers. Their guiding interest is understanding and improving the human experience of using digital information and communication technologies, such as computers, smart phones, gaming consoles, tablets, and more—How do these AFFECT learning and education, and how can we use them FOR learning and education? This is a human-centric exploration where technologies are viewed not for their own sake, but as cognitive “extensions” of human senses and the human mind. This research attracts many types of researchers eager to ask questions and test hypotheses, using a variety of highly specialized, digital-research tools. Such tools perform a number of powerful, highly specialized, functions like recording and synchronizing multiple streams of human activity, tagging and analyzing significant behaviours, tracking emotional responses and eye movements, and surveying digital technology competencies and usage.

Research Services

Testing and analysis of the efficacy of human-computer-human interactions in various settings including:

  • Theoretical modelling for fully online learning communities, online learning readiness, workplace reskilling and upskilling
  • Case Study development
  • Digital technology competence data gathering and analysis
  • Facial expression analysis
  • Eye tracking data collection and analysis
  • Qualitative video data collection and analysis (using coding structures)
  • Virtual Learning Environment Design
  • Survey Design, Implementation, and Analysis
Sectors of Application
  • Arts and cultural industries
  • Consumer durables
  • Consumer non-durables
  • Education
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Management and business related services
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)

Equipment

Function

AXIS P3367-V Network Cameras (2)

Cameras set close to ceiling to be trained on individuals at workstations to record body language/movements

AXIS Q6032-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras (2)

Cameras suspended from ceiling to be trained on workstation surfaces

AXIS PoE Midspan 1 port network video (4)

Power over Ethernet (PoE) to power and control video cameras. Provides pan/tilt/zoon functionality for cameras.

Computer Servers

Internet connected servers with numerous mounted virtual machines for applications

Noldus The Observer XT

Application that allows for the coding of behaviours and actions recorded on multiple streams of video

Noldus FaceReader

Automated facial expression analysis software

Noldus MediaRecorder

Software that allows for the recording of multiple video streams from multiple cameras

Transana

Video, audio, still picture, text analysis software

NVivo

Text, video, audio analysis software

WebGrid Plus

Repertory grid software allowing for the collection of personal psychology data and analysis

  • Noldus Information Technology (Wageningen, Netherlands)
  • University of Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Royal Roads University (Victoria, BC)
  • Ictinus Inc. (Ottawa, ON)
  • Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences (Magdeburg, Germany)
  • Northern College (Timmins, ON)
  • Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria)
  • Technological University Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Ontario College of Teachers (Toronto, ON)
  • DoctoralNet (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Centre for Higher Education Research, Policy & Practice (Ontario Tech University)
  • Kyiv National Economic University (Kyiv, Ukraine)
  • National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine)
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.A.)