Immersive Education Lab (iEL)

The Immersive Education Lab (iEL) carries out research into the use of virtual and mixed-reality systems for teaching and learning. Immersive Education is moving beyond just the use of virtual worlds to become more embedded into the physical world around us. The lab has a particular focus on the interface between real and virtual worlds and the emergence of inter-reality applications where virtual reality systems are coupled with real-world objects. A key concept for the lab is the notion of Immersivity, which spans the multiple dimensions of technology, pedagogy and cognition. This is becoming particularly important with the use of augmented and mixed reality technologies, where the technology is also often the context for learning.


iEL Directors

Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner, is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Digital Lifestyles Centre at the University of Essex, Colchester, UK. This centre explores future lifestyles based around the technical vision of ambient and pervasive computing. He has over 25 years experience in knowledge media both within the industrial research environment and academia. During that time he […]

Picture of Prof Victor Callaghan

Vic Callaghan

At Essex University Vic is an Emeritus Professor of Computer Science, Deputy Director of the Digital Lifestyles Centre and a member of both the Intelligent Environments and Immersive Education groups. Beyond Essex University Vic is a Director of the Creative Science Foundation, founding member of the Intelligent Environments and iCampus conferences and CEO of FortiTo […]

iEL Researchers

Anasol Peña-Rios

Anasol obtained her PhD at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex. Her project was related to Mixed Reality Lifestyles and investigated how decomposed software and hardware can be combined to create a type of educational cross reality object that can be constructed using end-user programming to support collaborative learning […]

Enas Jambi

Enas is a PhD Student at the Immersive Education Lab within the IEG group.

Oluwatimilehin Salako

Oluwatimilehin is a PhD Student at the Immersive Education Lab within the IEG group.

Samah Felemban

Samah is a PhD Student at the Immersive Education Lab within the IEG group.

iEL Alumni

Abdulkareem Alzahrani

Abdulkareem Alzahrani is a lecturer at Albaha University, Saudi Arabia. He recieved the bachelor degree in Teaching Computer Science from The Teacher Collage, Abha, Saudi Arabia at 2007. He worked at that Collage until 2008 then he moved to Albaha University. At 2010/2011,  Abdulkareem did the master degree in Advanced Web Engineering at the School […]


Ahmed Alzahrani

Ahmed did his PhD Student at the Immersive Education Lab within the IEG group.

Emmanuel Ferreyra

Emmanuel worked as a Senior Research Officer at the iEL Lab within the METALOGUE project (Multiperspective Multimodal dialogue systems with metacognitive abilities). Funded by the EU Seventh Framework programme ICT 2013.10. Project ran from 1/11/2013 until 31/10/16.

Malek Alrashidi

Malek did his PhD at the iEL Lab, his main research is focused on Collaborative in Augmented Reality. He is interested in Augmented Reality, Intelligent Environments, Collaborative Learning, Computer Assisted Learning. He is a Teacher Assistant at Tabuk University, Saudi Arabia. He obtained BSc in Computer Science from Taibah University, Saudi Arabia (2008), and he obtained MSc in computer Science […]

iEL Facilities


Imagen 9The iClassroom follows on from the iSpace and is the second purpose build Intelligent Environment in the University of Essex. Built with the aim to aid research into supplementing education with intelligent environments. The iClassroom is the main research testbed used by the iEL. This is a flexible intelligent environment that can be deployed to support a range of teaching and learning scenarios. This includes distance and remote education, formalised lectures and tutorials, and also more collaborative problem-solving learning activities. The iClassroom (which is a sister to the iSpace used by the wider iEG) provides a smart environment in which learning can take place. It includes a pervasive computing technology infrastructure coupled with state of the art learning equipment and resources.

iEL Projects


BReal Lab

The ‘BReal Lab’ proposes an innovative approach to enabling geographically distributed learners to collaborate around physical engineering laboratory activities, such as building robots. It facilitates combining software and hardware components, created by different students in different parts of the world, into a single working system.  The BReal Lab has been successfully tested using groups of […]


Multiperspective Multimodal Dialogue Ð dialogue systems with metacognitive abilities. The goal of Metalogue is to produce a multimodal dialogue system that is able to implement an interactive behaviour that seems natural to users and is flexible enough to exploit the full potential of multimodal interaction. It will be achieved by understanding, controlling and manipulating the […]


Mixed Reality Teaching and Learning Environment This project developed a mixed reality environment to provide a distance learning solution for live lectures. See


The MiRTLE+ project is a marriage between ideas drawn from virtual presence and augmented reality that explores new ways for bringing dispersed remote learners into shared collaborative spaces in the physical world. It is inspired by the idea of holographic projection but using tablets and glasses to mix the presence of local real and remote […]

Pedagogical Virtual Machine

The ‘Pedagogical Virtual Machine’ is a mechanism that translates student driven computer activity into learning outcomes. Like the Java virtual machine, it responds to messages but, rather than returning computational states, returns information relating to pedagogical achievement. Being a virtual entity, it can run on diverse platforms while offering a common interface and language to […]


System for an Immersive and Mixed Reality Language Learning The SIMiLLE project investigated the use of virtual world technologies to create meaningful contexts for learning a foreign language. See +Spaces – an EC-funded research project aiming at real-world-policy–making in popular online communities. The project uses existing social media spaces like Facebook and Twitter alongside […]