This paper addresses methodological issues associated with conducting research in a laboratory classroom equipped with ten built-in video cameras and up to 32 audio channel inputs. Situated at the University of Melbourne, Australia, the laboratory classroom offers possibilities for structured, rigorous, fine-grained investigation of the social aspects of classroom practice. Such research opportunities have the potential to provide insights, but pose specific challenges. This paper explores the utility of such a research facility for investigating learning and its promotion in classroom settings. It also discusses the issues for research design and methodology associated with its use.