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The activity-centred analysis and design (ACAD) framework 

The activity-centred analysis and design (ACAD) framework 

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A number of researchers have explored the role and nature of design in education, proposing a diverse array of life cycle models. Design plays subtly different roles in each of these models. The learning design research community is shifting its attention from the representation of pedagogical plans to considering design as an ongoing process. As a...

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Context 1
... by activity theory, workplace ethnography, design theory and French-language ergonomics, Goodyear and Carvalho (2014) developed the ACAD framework. The ACAD framework was conceived to support both the analysis of activity within complex learning situations, as well as the forging of connections between this learning activity and the tasks of design. The ACAD framework considers (student) learning activity to be dynamic and emergent, as well as physically, epistemically and socially situated (see Figure 3). This implies that learning activity cannot be designed. However, design can influence activity, through the tasks that are proposed, and through the shaping of the physical and social contexts in which the activity unfolds (Goodyear & Carvalho, 2014). As Figure 3 illustrates, the ACAD framework organises design attention by reference to three design components, corresponding to the kinds of entities that can be designed in order to be enacted with students: physical situation (set design), tasks (epistemic design) and social situation (social design). Learning tasks refer to the suggestions of things to do that teachers often present to students. The design of learning tasks (epistemic design) may involve figuring out how to convey information, its selection, pacing and sequencing, which can result in instructions for something worthwhile doing. Set design includes considerations about the tools and artefacts (Wartofsky's (1979) primary or secondary artefacts) that are made available to learners; and the space where learning activity unfolds. Social design involves considerations about how students are socially organised during the enactment, that is, whether they will be asked to work in pairs, groups or follow scripted roles. Another important aspect to consider is the temporal evolution of learning artefacts throughout a design process (facet F3, see Table 1). This evolution can be mapped against an existing framework proposing a design workflow (see Figure 1). Emphasising the difference between the conceptualisation of pedagogical ideas and the creation of representations of units of learning/courses, Hernández-Leo et al. (2014) organises support for the design process by distinguishing the following stages (see Figure ...
Context 2
... by activity theory, workplace ethnography, design theory and French-language ergonomics, Goodyear and Carvalho (2014) developed the ACAD framework. The ACAD framework was conceived to support both the analysis of activity within complex learning situations, as well as the forging of connections between this learning activity and the tasks of design. The ACAD framework considers (student) learning activity to be dynamic and emergent, as well as physically, epistemically and socially situated (see Figure 3). This implies that learning activity cannot be designed. However, design can influence activity, through the tasks that are proposed, and through the shaping of the physical and social contexts in which the activity unfolds (Goodyear & Carvalho, 2014). As Figure 3 illustrates, the ACAD framework organises design attention by reference to three design components, corresponding to the kinds of entities that can be designed in order to be enacted with students: physical situation (set design), tasks (epistemic design) and social situation (social design). Learning tasks refer to the suggestions of things to do that teachers often present to students. The design of learning tasks (epistemic design) may involve figuring out how to convey information, its selection, pacing and sequencing, which can result in instructions for something worthwhile doing. Set design includes considerations about the tools and artefacts (Wartofsky's (1979) primary or secondary artefacts) that are made available to learners; and the space where learning activity unfolds. Social design involves considerations about how students are socially organised during the enactment, that is, whether they will be asked to work in pairs, groups or follow scripted roles. Another important aspect to consider is the temporal evolution of learning artefacts throughout a design process (facet F3, see Table 1). This evolution can be mapped against an existing framework proposing a design workflow (see Figure 1). Emphasising the difference between the conceptualisation of pedagogical ideas and the creation of representations of units of learning/courses, Hernández-Leo et al. (2014) organises support for the design process by distinguishing the following stages (see Figure ...
Context 3
... to the activity theory perspective on learning design activities, the multiple artefacts used by designers during a learning design activity are mediators in relation to the object of designing a learning situation. Since the ACAD framework proposes a model of human activities mediated by tools and artefacts (see previous section and Figure 3, right), we can apply the ACAD framework, initially conceived to analyse learning activities (see Figure 3) (Goodyear & Carvalho, 2014) to investigate distinct but related aspects of real-world design activities (supporting facet F1, see Table 1). Adapting this framework with such aim, any real design activity is shaped by design tasks, and is physically (tools, resources) and socially (teams, divisions of labour) situated. That is to say, the nature of the activity is strongly influenced by the (physical) tools and other resources that come to hand and by the distribution of labour (e.g., roles) within the design team. All these elements combine to influence the emergent design activity. Figure 5 illustrates the use of the ACAD framework to represent design activity in this way. Figure 5. Adaptation of the ACAD framework to describe a design ...
Context 4
... to the activity theory perspective on learning design activities, the multiple artefacts used by designers during a learning design activity are mediators in relation to the object of designing a learning situation. Since the ACAD framework proposes a model of human activities mediated by tools and artefacts (see previous section and Figure 3, right), we can apply the ACAD framework, initially conceived to analyse learning activities (see Figure 3) (Goodyear & Carvalho, 2014) to investigate distinct but related aspects of real-world design activities (supporting facet F1, see Table 1). Adapting this framework with such aim, any real design activity is shaped by design tasks, and is physically (tools, resources) and socially (teams, divisions of labour) situated. That is to say, the nature of the activity is strongly influenced by the (physical) tools and other resources that come to hand and by the distribution of labour (e.g., roles) within the design team. All these elements combine to influence the emergent design activity. Figure 5 illustrates the use of the ACAD framework to represent design activity in this way. Figure 5. Adaptation of the ACAD framework to describe a design ...
Context 5
... to this view, designers are themselves in a situation where there is a combination of elements that are likely to influence their design activity: the tools and resources (either Wartofsky's (1979) primary or secondary artefacts) they will use to come up with their designs, the social organisation of the design team, and specific factors related to design knowledge or the design task itself. Also, designers do their design work to come up with a certain combination of elements for other people's learning, designing a learning situation which is also epistemically (epistemic design component), physically (set design component) and socially (social design component) situated (see Figure ...
Context 6
... by activity theory, workplace ethnography, design theory and French-language ergonomics, Goodyear and Carvalho (2014) developed the ACAD framework. The ACAD framework was conceived to support both the analysis of activity within complex learning situations, as well as the forging of connections between this learning activity and the tasks of design. The ACAD framework considers (student) learning activity to be dynamic and emergent, as well as physically, epistemically and socially situated (see Figure 3). This implies that learning activity cannot be designed. However, design can influence activity, through the tasks that are proposed, and through the shaping of the physical and social contexts in which the activity unfolds (Goodyear & Carvalho, 2014). As Figure 3 illustrates, the ACAD framework organises design attention by reference to three design components, corresponding to the kinds of entities that can be designed in order to be enacted with students: physical situation (set design), tasks (epistemic design) and social situation (social design). Learning tasks refer to the suggestions of things to do that teachers often present to students. The design of learning tasks (epistemic design) may involve figuring out how to convey information, its selection, pacing and sequencing, which can result in instructions for something worthwhile doing. Set design includes considerations about the tools and artefacts (Wartofsky's (1979) primary or secondary artefacts) that are made available to learners; and the space where learning activity unfolds. Social design involves considerations about how students are socially organised during the enactment, that is, whether they will be asked to work in pairs, groups or follow scripted roles. Another important aspect to consider is the temporal evolution of learning artefacts throughout a design process (facet F3, see Table 1). This evolution can be mapped against an existing framework proposing a design workflow (see Figure 1). Emphasising the difference between the conceptualisation of pedagogical ideas and the creation of representations of units of learning/courses, Hernández-Leo et al. (2014) organises support for the design process by distinguishing the following stages (see Figure ...
Context 7
... by activity theory, workplace ethnography, design theory and French-language ergonomics, Goodyear and Carvalho (2014) developed the ACAD framework. The ACAD framework was conceived to support both the analysis of activity within complex learning situations, as well as the forging of connections between this learning activity and the tasks of design. The ACAD framework considers (student) learning activity to be dynamic and emergent, as well as physically, epistemically and socially situated (see Figure 3). This implies that learning activity cannot be designed. However, design can influence activity, through the tasks that are proposed, and through the shaping of the physical and social contexts in which the activity unfolds (Goodyear & Carvalho, 2014). As Figure 3 illustrates, the ACAD framework organises design attention by reference to three design components, corresponding to the kinds of entities that can be designed in order to be enacted with students: physical situation (set design), tasks (epistemic design) and social situation (social design). Learning tasks refer to the suggestions of things to do that teachers often present to students. The design of learning tasks (epistemic design) may involve figuring out how to convey information, its selection, pacing and sequencing, which can result in instructions for something worthwhile doing. Set design includes considerations about the tools and artefacts (Wartofsky's (1979) primary or secondary artefacts) that are made available to learners; and the space where learning activity unfolds. Social design involves considerations about how students are socially organised during the enactment, that is, whether they will be asked to work in pairs, groups or follow scripted roles. Another important aspect to consider is the temporal evolution of learning artefacts throughout a design process (facet F3, see Table 1). This evolution can be mapped against an existing framework proposing a design workflow (see Figure 1). Emphasising the difference between the conceptualisation of pedagogical ideas and the creation of representations of units of learning/courses, Hernández-Leo et al. (2014) organises support for the design process by distinguishing the following stages (see Figure ...
Context 8
... to the activity theory perspective on learning design activities, the multiple artefacts used by designers during a learning design activity are mediators in relation to the object of designing a learning situation. Since the ACAD framework proposes a model of human activities mediated by tools and artefacts (see previous section and Figure 3, right), we can apply the ACAD framework, initially conceived to analyse learning activities (see Figure 3) (Goodyear & Carvalho, 2014) to investigate distinct but related aspects of real-world design activities (supporting facet F1, see Table 1). Adapting this framework with such aim, any real design activity is shaped by design tasks, and is physically (tools, resources) and socially (teams, divisions of labour) situated. That is to say, the nature of the activity is strongly influenced by the (physical) tools and other resources that come to hand and by the distribution of labour (e.g., roles) within the design team. All these elements combine to influence the emergent design activity. Figure 5 illustrates the use of the ACAD framework to represent design activity in this way. Figure 5. Adaptation of the ACAD framework to describe a design ...
Context 9
... to the activity theory perspective on learning design activities, the multiple artefacts used by designers during a learning design activity are mediators in relation to the object of designing a learning situation. Since the ACAD framework proposes a model of human activities mediated by tools and artefacts (see previous section and Figure 3, right), we can apply the ACAD framework, initially conceived to analyse learning activities (see Figure 3) (Goodyear & Carvalho, 2014) to investigate distinct but related aspects of real-world design activities (supporting facet F1, see Table 1). Adapting this framework with such aim, any real design activity is shaped by design tasks, and is physically (tools, resources) and socially (teams, divisions of labour) situated. That is to say, the nature of the activity is strongly influenced by the (physical) tools and other resources that come to hand and by the distribution of labour (e.g., roles) within the design team. All these elements combine to influence the emergent design activity. Figure 5 illustrates the use of the ACAD framework to represent design activity in this way. Figure 5. Adaptation of the ACAD framework to describe a design ...
Context 10
... to this view, designers are themselves in a situation where there is a combination of elements that are likely to influence their design activity: the tools and resources (either Wartofsky's (1979) primary or secondary artefacts) they will use to come up with their designs, the social organisation of the design team, and specific factors related to design knowledge or the design task itself. Also, designers do their design work to come up with a certain combination of elements for other people's learning, designing a learning situation which is also epistemically (epistemic design component), physically (set design component) and socially (social design component) situated (see Figure ...

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... Although Avastusrada and Smartzoos might not represent the entire variety of design tools that exist in m-learning, they serve as two case studies on the kind of designs that practitioners create in-the-wild in mlearning. Our approach of analysing the designs is just a snapshot of the designs and does not consider their process/evolution (Muñoz-Crist obal, Hernández-Leo, et al., 2018), as well as the (social) practices around them This triangulation could provide more qualitative understanding on why practitioners took specific design decisions, help to assess practitioners' pedagogical skills, or verify whether the designs were created to be used in real settings or simply for demo/testing purposes (which could also help us to decide if specific designs are significant, or should be ignored in the analyses). It is worth mentioning that it is not always possible to have access to the end users (e.g., in our case the identity of the practitioners was anonymised) and our study suggests that even in such cases, ML approaches that mimic human coding of the learning designs could provide useful insights about practitioners' design practices. ...
... Rodríguez-Triana et al., 2020). Thus, future work could include complementary approaches, such as temporal analyses of the design artefact (i.e., their evolution over time) to understand how practitioners design for m-learning, by looking at the evolution of the artefacts (as suggested byMuñoz-Crist obal, Hernández-Leo, et al., 2018), or observational case studies of practitioners' design practices in m-learning. For instance, our analyses of the results obtained from the automatic coding with the ML algorithms, would have benefited from triangulation with the practitioners (e.g., through interviews, or questionnaires about their design intentions). ...
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... LD has been defined as "a descriptive framework for teaching and learning activities" (Dalziel, 2015, p.4). However, to date much of the work on LD has been either focusing on prescriptive approaches of how LD should be, or on representations of LDs in formats that are interpretable by computers (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018). Recently, the emphasis has shifted away from the representation of LDs per se to the process of eliciting such representations from tutors; a shift that signifies teaching as a design practice (Mor et al., 2015;Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018) that could be studied through participatory design approaches which actively involve the main stakeholders of higher education (Flynn et al., 2018). ...
... However, to date much of the work on LD has been either focusing on prescriptive approaches of how LD should be, or on representations of LDs in formats that are interpretable by computers (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018). Recently, the emphasis has shifted away from the representation of LDs per se to the process of eliciting such representations from tutors; a shift that signifies teaching as a design practice (Mor et al., 2015;Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018) that could be studied through participatory design approaches which actively involve the main stakeholders of higher education (Flynn et al., 2018). As highlighted by Viberg et al. (2018), as "the integration of digital technologies in higher education continuous to increase, there is a need to understand how to best support university teachers of Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) in order to support students to achieve academic success" (p.2637). ...
... There is an abundance of frameworks for the lifecycle the LD process. According to Muñoz-Cristóbal et al. (2018), this is due to the absence of a common vision on the conceptualization and scope of the LD. A recent example (Pozzi et al., 2020) presents a model that comprises three phases: a) conceptualization (e.g., defining learning objectives, identifying content areas to be addressed and pedagogical strategies), b) plan the flow of activities (e.g., identify tools and resources to be used), and c) enactment of the LD ranging from a single learning activity to a whole course using some (digital) learning environment. ...
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... An interesting direction for further research would be the characteristics of a design process when there is involvement of actors from different contexts (school and work), as is often the case with learning designs at the school-work boundary. Such studies might also take into account the ongoing and increasingly-collaborative nature of design processes (Buus and Georgsen 2018;Muñoz-Cristóbal et al. 2018). ...
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... For instance, Thompson, Gouvea and Habron (2016) combined CM with design-for-learning (Carvalho & Goodyear, 2014) for designing and analysing a college-level environmental science course. There are many frameworks to help instructors and researchers make sense of the complexity that encapsulates design, learning and teaching (see Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018 for a review of design frameworks). Goodyear & Carvalho (2014) describe the Activity Centred Analysis and Design (ACAD) framework. ...
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... Thus, a contribution of this study is that it presents an additional understanding of constructing vocational curricula and of considerations that should be taken into account when designing cross-boundary learning environments (Zitter et al., 2016). The presented framework (Table 4) can be categorized as a 'learning design framework' that may serve both to analyse a design product and to further guide a design (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018). Our framework specifically supports the (re)design of learning environments at the school-work boundary. ...
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... Con relación a investigaciones relacionadas con las aproximaciones metodológicas, Muñoz-Cristóbal et al. (2018) analizaron el proceso de diseño de contenidos. Lachheb y Boling (2018) preguntando a 100 diseñadores de instrucción, constataron la gran variedad de métodos y herramientas utilizados. ...
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... The ACAD framework is now a well-established metatheoretical framework, which has helped many educational designers and researchers to foreground connections between designable elements and emergent learning activity in a range of learning situations (Goodyear and Carvalho 2014;Yeoman 2018, 2019;Munoz et al. 2018). The designable elements acknowledge the physical, social and epistemic nature of learning and are conceptualized through three dimensions of design-set design, epistemic design and social design. ...
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... A centralised approach to learning design seeks to provide a consistent student experience and enable effective approaches to be shared and promulgated at scale (Laurillard, Kennedy, Charlton, Wild, & Dimakopoulos, 2018;Morris & Hiebert, 2011). While studies explore pre-existing patterns of learning designs (Toetenel & Rienties, 2016), or investigate particular learning design artefacts (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018), there appears to be a deficit of studies investigating the link between these cross-programme learning design approaches and student experiences. Understanding how students experience these overarching learning designs can provide necessary insights for improving online coursework. ...
... Learning design holds a key place in contemporary higher education, particularly with respect to online education, but has multiple overlapping conceptualisations. Design is both a noun and a verb and can variously refer to: a process of curriculum development; a representation of a particular episode of learning; models, patterns and templates; an analytic framework to assure quality; a set of design workflows; a set of instructions for learners; and a teaching practice (Goodyear, 2005;Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018). The most prevalent current views of learning design focuses on the 'ways in which educators can document, model, implement, store, share, adapt and reuse pedagogical ideas' (Bennett, Agostinho, & Lockyer, 2016, p. 9). ...
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In online education, learning design has a significant role in mediating student experience. Centralised approaches to learning design provide students with a coherent teaching approach across online units but little is known about their impact on the student. Understanding the influence of these overarching learning design features may be a significant piece in improving online coursework at scale. In the context of this study, a central learning design team created learning design patterns within the FutureLearn platform, which teaching teams subsequently used to develop student-facing unit learning materials. A mixed methods investigation sought to understand how the learning design patterns influenced (1) student outcomes and (2) student experiences across units. We collected enrolment and institutional satisfaction data, conducted a qualitative survey (39 respondents) and interviewed 14 students. Quantitative analysis suggested that the approach may have improved retention although satisfaction appeared unchanged. The qualitative data indicated that, in general, learning design elements such as social media style discussion enable and constrain the student learning experience simultaneously. For example, stepwise approaches to learning help orient and guide students but may also be overly atomistic. This suggests both software choice and learning design patterns can have a mixed effect on the student experience. Course teams may wish to consider how teaching materials can maximise the benefits and mitigate against the foreseeable drawbacks of centralised learning designs and software platforms.
... After two decades of Biggs learning and teaching inquiry, the Activity-centred analysis design (ACAD) framework emerged with an aim to understand the analysis of activity within complex learning situations and to identify the relationships between this learning activity and the tasks of design. The ACAD framework (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018) defines three elements including physical situation (set design), tasks (epistemic design) and social situation (social design). Learning tasks are generally offered by educators to students and these tasks could be created to disseminate key content (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018). ...
... The ACAD framework (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018) defines three elements including physical situation (set design), tasks (epistemic design) and social situation (social design). Learning tasks are generally offered by educators to students and these tasks could be created to disseminate key content (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018). The physical or set design consists of tools and artefacts primary or secondary artefacts) that are made available to learners (e.g.: chairs, laptops, iPads, pens, paper). ...
... The physical or set design consists of tools and artefacts primary or secondary artefacts) that are made available to learners (e.g.: chairs, laptops, iPads, pens, paper). The social situation focuses on the way that student will be involved for example to work in pairs, groups with pre-determined roles (Muñoz-Cristóbal et al., 2018). ...
Conference Paper
There is a persistent dialogue in engineering education literature globally, lamenting the higher than average attrition rate amongst professional degrees, and the lack of female representation in undergraduate student cohorts. There is also a growing call by engineering professional organisations in Australia and internationally, for a shift in context for engineering education, to embed ‘making a difference’ with regard to international calls to action such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Response. The first-author has been on a journey of nearly two decades co-authoring text-books and open-source curricula and including a PhD on rapidly build capacity for sustainable development. Over the last five years the academic has been exploring a ‘missing link’ in engineering competencies towards this end-goal, in the form of geospatial knowledge and skills. This coincides with the Federal Government’s launch of “Digital Earth Australia”, which was formed to connect society with high quality current and historical data on a myriad of physical, environmental and social topic areas. Drawing on the context of, “Everything is connected, and where is critical”, this paper explores the question of what it takes to imbue engineering students with the capacity to contribute to sustainable development. Specifically, the paper evaluates the international course-work pilot undertaken over 2017-2018 in collaboration with Chubu University (Nagoya, Japan). This paper presents the experience and results as a case study that is transferable and replicable by other academics in Australia and overseas. Specifically, the authors reflect on the value of connecting two theories: Biggs 3P and Activity-Centred Analysis and Design (ACAD). The paper draws on two years of data gathered from 21 Griffith University students who participated in the course, and a similar number of Chubu University students in addition to 14 Chubu University academics involved in teaching the 2-week intensive in Japan. This includes student surveys, focus groups and assessment items to report on student learning outcomes and appreciation of engineering for 21st Century needs. The paper will report on the observed shift in student perceptions, and their experience of the importance of geospatial within their engineering degree program. The paper will conclude with commentary by the co-authors on the practicality of using this teaching strategy to: 1) motivate students, particularly in first year, and b) inculcate the necessary knowledge and skills within engineering education, towards engineering practice that addresses 21st Century needs. This paper will draw on three fields of literature, including: 1) engineering sustainability themes in curricula; 2) digital earth and sustainable development literature; and 3) theoretical papers including Biggs’ seminal 3P Model (1987), and Goodyear’s ACAD theory (2017). The paper builds on and complements an industry-facing paper first-authored by the same first-author, to be presented prior to AaeE, at the International Society for Digital Earth conference (Florence, September 2019).
... According to some authors, learning design (LD) can be seen as a product or an artefact that describes the sequence of teaching and learning activities [5,[15][16][17], including the actors' roles, activities, and environments as well as the relations between them [18]. At the same time, learning design is also referred to as the process of designing a learning activity and or creating the artefacts that describe the learning activity [1, 13,19]. In this paper, we will reflect not only on the artefact but also on the process of designing for learning, trying to clarify which one, and how, it is connected with classroom observations. ...
... After taking into account alternative spellings, the resulting query was: ("classroom observation*" OR "lesson observation*" OR "observational method*") AND ("learning design" OR "design for learning" OR "lesson plan" OR "instructional design" OR scripting). Aside from this, the first part of the query was decided based on different possible uses of the term "observation", whereas in the part of the query "learning design" or "design for learning" there are established differences in the use of these related concepts [19] as already discussed in the previous section. At the same time, "instructional design", although it has a different origin, sometimes is used interchangeably [3] and "scripting" [36] are also widely used. ...
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Article
Learning Design, as a field of research, provides practitioners with guidelines towards more effective teaching and learning. In parallel, observational methods (manual or automated) have been used in the classroom to reflect on and refine teaching and learning, often in combination with other data sources (such as surveys and interviews). Despite the fact that both Learning Design and classroom observation aim to support teaching and learning practices (respectively a priori or a posteriori), they are not often aligned. To better understand the potential synergies between these two strategies, this paper reports on a systematic literature review based on 24 works that connect learning design and classroom observations. The review analyses the purposes of the studies, the stakeholders involved, the methodological aspects of the studies, and how design and observations are connected. This review reveals the need for computer-interpretable documented designs; the lack of reported systematic approaches and technological support to connect the (multimodal) observations with the corresponding learning designs; and, the predominance of human-mediated observations of the physical space, whose applicability and scalability are limited by the human resources available. The adoption of ICT tools to support the design process would contribute to extracting the context of the observations and the pedagogical framework for the analysis. Moreover, extending the traditional manual observations with Multimodal Learning Analytic techniques, would not only reduce the observation burden but also support the systematic data collection, integration, and analysis, especially in semi-structured and structured studies.