Research Activites

ILTA supports technology-enhanced learning research and evidence-based practice by supporting two national surveys, and by providing two high profile dissemination channels.

Two National Surveys

ILTA supports two national surveys as part of its 2011-14 Strategic Plan. These research activities provide a strong national evidence-base to inform policy and practice for a number of stakeholder groups. Each are detailed below:

(1) Virtual Learning Environment Student Survey

Multi Institutional Survey of usage of Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)

Contact Coordinator: Angelica Risquez, UL (Email:

A rolling longitudinal survey of students’ usage of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in eleven Irish Higher Education Institutions has been ongoing since 2008. The survey instrument uses a common set of questions, and on condition of anonymity, the participating institutions pooled their data to allow us to compare and contrast the results.

Findings drawn from over 20,000 student responses to date isolate some of the key drivers and barriers to uptake and usage of an institutional VLE and how students really use it. We have presented results to date in multiple EdTech conferences, AISHE and NAIRTL, and more recently in Emerging Issues III, published by the Educational Developers of Ireland Network in 2013. More recent research includes a pilot of a version of the survey for teaching staff. This project is on-going, and open to participation by any educational institution.

See Participation Guidelines and Survey Questions here

See most recent findings here

(2) Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning (Ireland)

The 2013 Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning (Ireland) consists of a six section survey, which replicates work carried out in the UK, as part of the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA). The study is designed to:

  • identify the range of technology enhanced learning tools already in place or planned, and the priorities and ambitions for further development;
  • present an analysis of the approaches taken to the integration of technology enhanced learning and business processes;
  • identify the current, emerging and planned patterns of use of technology enhanced learning tools in institutions and
  • examine the support needs of users across the Irish Higher Education sector.

More information:
Coordinators: Fiona Concannon, NUI Galway and Paul Gormley, NUI Galway

Two Research Dissemination Channels

(1) EdTech Conference:

The annual EdTech confernece research strand showcases current research activities TEL. We particularly encourage new researchers to present.

(2) TEL Ireland journal:

Our ISSN peer-reviewed online TEL Ireland journal provides a tangible dissemination channel for Irish and international researchers

Future Research

One of ILTA’s key aims is to raise the profile of research and the dissemination of best practice in enhancing learning with technology across Ireland. We seek to share expertise and promote best practice in this field, and research is one way of doing this. ILTA supports research through our annual conference, regular webinars, our social online networks, and informal meetings. The TEL Ireland Journal also represents a new channel for peer-reviewed publication.

We would really like to encourage newcomers, as well as our existing members, to think about adding your work to the research base about e-learning in Ireland.