Research Centers & Laboratories at Learning Technologies

Our department's research projects increase knowledge within our field and allow graduate students to actively contribute to projects that enhance their educational and professional experience.

The Department of Learning Technologies contains a prestigious and notable history of enhancing research and its reputation through competitive and well-earned grant funding. Since 2000, more than 20 million dollars in research funding has been obtained through the Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET)– one of the oldest research centers at UNT, the Institution for the Integration of Technology into Teaching and Learning (IITTL), the Joint Research Laboratory (JoRel), and the following collaborative research centers and laboratories listed below.

Research Centers

  • Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET) was legislatively established in 1988 after a competitive grant process between all the major universities in Texas. TCET is a nationally recognized center in research and development of educational technology. Over the past years, TCET has drawn millions of funds to meet the growing needs of technology support in education and has partnered with state and national agencies, universities, businesses, and schools. The mission of TCET to provide national, state-level and regional support in technology-based collaborative efforts; prepare future educators and technology professionals to advance knowledge of technology tools and applications; and to create and facilitate collaborations across regional, national, multi-state, and international initiatives centering on the use of technology in the workplace. TCET focuses on projects and collaborations based on how people learn, think, and create. The research map for the future of TCET is always expanding outward to new places and ideas.  
  • Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching and Learning was founded in 1999 to promote the infusion of information technologies into daily teaching/learning practices. IITTL compliments TCET by working at the classroom technology integration level. It has generated numerous national and international papers and has also been highly successful in obtaining grants.

Research Laboratories

  • SURGE Lab is a University of North Texas research lab dedicated to advancing research in VR, AR, MR, and XR.  
  • Team Science (TSci) is a multidisciplinary field that concentrates on the interpersonal, intrapersonal, organizational, physical, environmental, technological, societal, and political contextual factors in the workplace. Team Science touches on the collaborative functioning of teams and small groups in the workplace, often involving cross-disciplinary and cross-functional groups.

Past Research Centers & Laboratories 

  • 3D Learning Environment Research Lab was established in 2003 to promote research into 3D online learning environments. The 3D Lab is looking into how 3D environments impact learning and how such technology can be deployed into educational settings. 3D environment creates a context or scaffolding for interaction using 3D presentations to engage and/or immerse the student into a situation for learning.
  • Advanced Research Laboratory serves the doctoral students, as well as all CECS students and faculty, in their pursuit of high-quality research. The R&D Lab offers several services for faculty and staff to assist in achieving their academic goals in the areas of Learning Technologies, Instructional Technology, and technology-based Learning Systems. The lab is located in room G150, at the Discovery Park in Denton, Texas.
  • Computational Neuropsychology and Simulation (CNS) Lab: The CNS Lab aimed to produce well-trained scientists devoted to the continuous development of an empirical knowledge base in Computational Social Science, Neuropsychology, Clinical XR, Cyberpsychology, and Human-Computer Interactions. Students are prepared for employment in academic and industry settings. The CNS Lab used novel technologies (brain-computer interfaces, VR/AR/XR, video games/serious games, Clinical XR) and novel data analytics (neuroinformatics; neural nets; machine learning) for assessment/training of social, neurocognitive, and affective functions. Students training in the lab focus on the following: Teleneuropsychology, Virtual Environment Grocery Store (VEGS) and Virtual School Environment.
  • The iCenter for Affective Neurotechnologies (iCAN) at UNT's Discovery Park is a multidisciplinary center (with 6 interdisciplinary labs) that integrates computational social neuroscience, neuropsychology, psychophysiology, learning technologies, biomedical AI, and simulation technologies (video games, VR, AR, XR) for novel assessment, modeling, and training of neurocognitive, affective, and social processes.
  • Joint Research Laboratory (JoReL) was established in 2014 by a supplemental Memorandum of Agreement between the University of North Texas (UNT) and East China Normal University (ECNU). The purpose of JoReL is to conduct collaborative research activities that include but are not limited to: (a) co-development of mobile learning applications, (b) cooperative data collection and analysis, (c) shared use of facilities, laboratories and equipment, (d) faculty and student exchanges, (e) collaborative teaching and research, (f) coordinated grant applications, (g) co-organized meetings and seminars, (h) co-authored publications and presentations. The ECNU Director of JoReL is Prof. Xiaoqing Gu, Dean of the Department of Educational Information Technology at East China Normal University. The UNT Co-Directors of JoReL are Prof. J. Michael Spector and Assoc. Prof. Lin Lin in the Department of Learning Technologies (LT) at UNT.
  • Technology and Applied Research in Autism Laboratory (TARA Lab) is an exploratory, research-driven, hands-on laboratory designed to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders in grades K-6. Faculty members in the College of Information provide the vision, direction and technology support for TARA.