Brandeis International Business School

Brandeis Online Learning Lab

Brandeis Online Learning Lab

  • graphic showing data on laptop
The Brandeis Online Learning Lab (BOLL) is developing cutting-edge analytic tools to measure student engagement in online classrooms.

Are my students paying attention in class?

Teachers are always looking for ways to improve student engagement. This concern takes on a new dimension with online learning — there are new opportunities for distraction, and it’s even harder for teachers to read the room.

The Brandeis Online Learning Lab (BOLL) studies student engagement in online classes, using patent-pending systems and methods and a unique software package.

Actionable analytics for teachers

Our technology offers a new level of reliable, objective and detailed information about student engagement and participation in online synchronous courses. These data help teachers engage students more equitably and effectively, and give students actionable feedback on their performance.

BOLL is a collaboration between faculty and students at Brandeis International Business School and Brandeis University’s Michtom School of Computer Science. The project is sponsored by the Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship. Brandeis faculty are currently testing the technology in their online classes.

Free demo available

Brandeis offers free licenses to BOCA Demo 2 to registered users. This demo runs locally and gives limited—but powerful—results for a single meeting. You may use it as often as you like. The demo reflects what our software suite can produce, but it is not a mini version of that suite. We are happy to discuss the full suite with potential users or collaborators.

Try BOCA Demo Software

Awards and Recognition

Sprout Logo

Brandeis Sprout Program

BOLL was awarded pilot funding at the 12th Annual Sprout Awards, which recognize scientific breakthroughs with commercial potential.

Provost Research Grant, 2021 Award Recipient

Provost Research Grant

BOLL received a Provost Research Grant Award in 2021 in recognition of its potential for significant, sustained impact.

NSF Innovation Corps

NSF Innovation Corps

BOLL participated in the local NSF I-Corps program at Brandeis University to discover how our tools meet user needs.

Brandeis University Logo

2023-2024 Tier Grant Recipient

Engagement in the online classroom


Harvard Business Publishing: Education

Harvard Business Publishing

You may think your online class discussions are lively and balanced—but are they, really? Use Zoom data to create more engaged, inclusive classrooms.

Brandeis Online Class Analytics (BOCA) is the creation of a cross-disciplinary team of professors and students.

Harnessing data to improve online learning

Team of Brandeis faculty, students build software to help educators analyze virtual class discussions

Meet the Team

Principal Investigators

Ben Gomes-Casseres

Ben Gomes-Casseres is the Peter A. Petri Professor of Business and Society at Brandeis International Business School. He has been teaching by the case method for over three decades, starting as a professor at Harvard Business School. He has taught online classes since 2020, which led him and his co-inventors to develop BOLL’s core technology.

Ben has won two teaching awards at Brandeis and previously led the International Business School’s MBA program for many years. He teaches courses on business strategy, innovation, international business and partnerships. He is an expert in business combinations, with five books and many articles on M&A, alliances and international business. 

As BOLL’s co-principal investigator, Ben works on product design, data collection and analysis, and business development.

Pito Salas

Pito Salas is Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the Michtom School of Computer Science at Brandeis University, where has been teaching courses in applied computer science over the last eight years. He teaches courses in software engineering, software entrepreneurship and robotics.

Before teaching at Brandeis, Pito worked in a variety of roles in the software industry. He was the co-founder and former chief technology officer of eRoom Technology, Inc., an early internet-based project collaboration application. He holds multiple software patents, including for the “Pivot Table” from his work at Lotus Development.

As BOLL’s co-principal investigator, Pito works on product design and software architecture and leads the software team.

Research Associates

Klodeta Janaqi, MBA’19

Klodeta Janaqi, MBA’21 is a senior analyst at Google and a visiting Brandeis scholar. A graduate of Brandeis International Business School, she is the co-inventor of core BOLL technologies and prototypes.

Brian Leonard BA '17

Brian Leonard BA ’17 (University of Rochester)
Research programmer specializing in web development.

Rezarta Myrtollari, MSBA’21

Rezarta Myrtollari, MSBA’21
Database management, data visualization and user interface.

Jiawei Fan PhD (International Economics and Finance) ‘27

Jiawei Fan PhD (International Economics and Finance) ‘27
Data analytics and engineering

Sonny George MS (Computational Linguistics) ‘26

Sonny George MS (Computational Linguistics) ‘26
Software development and data engineering

Marisa Lala MBA ‘24

Marisa Lala MBA ‘24
Instructional assistant for beta test courses.

Peter Thabet MBA ’24

Peter Thabet MBA ’24
Instructional assistant for beta test courses and customer discovery.

Glenn Gomes-Casseres, MBA (Columbia University

Glenn Gomes-Casseres, MBA (Columbia University) 
Product management, business development, and customer discovery.

Andrew Mukurazita, MBA/MSBA ‘25

Andrew Mukurazita, MBA/MSBA ’25
Data analysis and business development.

Raj Kiran Katru, MSBA ‘23

Raj Kiran Katru, MSBA ‘23
Data management and analysis.

Previous research associates

Jason Fan ’23, Hannah Davis BA/MA ’21, Jacob Judd ’19, MA’20, Yousuf Khan, MSBA/MBA’23, Nikhil Teja Nama, MSBA/MBA’23, Joy Majwega, MBA’22, Jasmyne Raneri MBA ’22, Amanda Quaranto-Schulte, MBA’22, Daniel Hariyanto ’23, Karen Mai ’25, Adam Ring ’23, Rushit Suthar MBA ’23

Conferences and Presentations


For more information, please contact us at