Activity-Centred Analysis and Design (ACAD): Core Purposes, Distinctive Qualities and Current Developments
This paper provides a summary account of Activity-Centred Analysis and Design (ACAD). ACAD offers a practical approach to analysing complex learning situations, in a way that can generate knowledge that is reusable in subsequent (re)design work. ACAD has been developed over the last two decades. It has been tested and refined through collaborative analyses of a large number of complex learning situations and through research studies involving experienced and inexperienced design teams. The paper offers a definition and high level description of ACAD and goes on to explain the underlying motivation. The paper also provides an overview of two current areas of development in ACAD: the creation of explicit design rationales and the ACAD toolkit for collaborative design meetings. As well as providing some ideas that can help teachers, design teams and others discuss and agree on their working methods, ACAD has implications for some broader issues in educational technology research and development. It questions some deep assumptions about the framing of research and design thinking, in the hope that fresh ideas may be useful to people involved in leadership and advocacy roles in the field.
© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2021
Peter Goodyear is a Professor of Education at The University of Sydney and was founding co-director of the University’s Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation. From 2004 to 2015 he was co-director of the Centre for Research on Computer Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo). He held an Australian Laureate Fellowship from 2010-2015 and is a Senior Fellow of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. Before emigrating to Australia in 2003 Peter was Professor of Educational Research at Lancaster University in the UK. He was the founding director of Lancaster’s Centre for Studies in Advanced Learning Technology. He has also held academic positions in Belfast, London and Birmingham. His B.Sc. and D.Phil. degrees are from the University of Ulster. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK).
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