Educational Design Research Studio

EDRS logo

The Educational Design Research Studio (EDRS or “Design Studio” for short) has been created as part of Professor Peter Goodyear's Australian Laureate Fellowship project. Research conducted in the Design Studio aims to help provide a richer understanding of collaborative design for learning activities.

It is equipped to support small teams of people working on existing or new educational design problems, using both their own approaches and ones that we can make available. As a research facility, it is equipped to make high quality audio-visual recordings of all members of the design teams, sufficient to transcribe and/or annotate key passages in the design process, and to playback such passages for stimulated recall debriefings with the designers. The Design Studio can assist by capturing the design discourse, gestures, expressions and other important elements of non-verbal communication within the design team, and the evolving state of their design artefacts.

More information - FAQ

  1. What are the advantages of Studio Learning?
  2. What are the studio's design principles?
  3. Who are the potential users?
  4. What is the physical space like?
  5. What technical equipment is available?
  6. What about post-production?
  7. How do I find out more?

What are the advantages of Studio Learning?

Design studios are well established as settings for collaborative work in creative disciplines, such as architecture, art, and product design. Design studios are dedicated group workspaces, offering facilities for the creation and display of shared artefacts; they provide design tools and other design resources. The design studio aims to provide an innovative space to study collaborative design for learning activities.

Our design principles

  • Research-centred
    The Design Studio is a research space, equipped to study collaborative design for learning. The room has video and still cameras and microphones to capture, track, and store both design processes, and digital and physical artefacts [See Technical Equipment].
  • Designer-centred
    The Design Studio aims to meet the needs of a wide range of designers. Different physical and digital tools are provided to support effective collaborative design work. The room aims to provide an inviting, comfortable and flexible work environment.
  • Fluid Usability
    The Design Studio contains different tools to support design for learning,. These include physical tools (e.g. paper, Post-its, butcher paper, whiteboard wall, etc.) and digital tools (interactive white board, tablet computers, laptops, etc.). One goal of the design studio is to allow users to switch from one tool to another, intuitively and fluidly, providing opportunities to present, investigate, manipulate, and store designs in different forms.
  • Flexibility
    Furniture and tools in the Design Studio have been carefully chosen to create a multi-purpose space. Different furniture arrangements and tools allow quickly customizable setups, enabling fast switching between whole and small group work; or switching between formal and informal settings [See Physical Space]. For researchers, the room allows flexible setups to support the investigation of a broad range of research questions. The Design Studio aims to support design projects from the short-term (a few hours) to long-term (several days to weeks) .

Who are the potential users?

  • Groups of educational designers
    Design Studio users are collaborative groups who design or re-design courses. These include professional instructional designers, in-service teachers, pre-service teachers, and eLearning designers.
  • Using the Design Studio
    The Design Studio is used for collaborative design and potential participants will be involved in a collaborative (team-based) design for learning project. This could include instructional design for a unit of study (course), a course redesign, curriculum design, or design of learning spaces. Users of The Design Studio should be willing to participate in our research studies.

The physical space

The physical space of the Design Studio provides a flexible open-space that meets the needs of a wide variety of design groups, and is capable of providing both formal and informal work areas.

EDRS photo
  1. Central Table: The Hub
    The large central meeting table allows for group meetings and can double as a design work surface.
  2. Augmented Projection on whiteboard wall
    The combination of a whiteboard-painted walls and tablet-controlled projections creates a versatile hybrid of digital and physical space. Users can use the whiteboard wall or the projection solely, or use physical markers to annotate projected content. There is over thirty-three square meters of floor-to-ceiling whiteboard wall, providing plenty of space for drawings, writing, and brainstorming sessions. Multiple users have access to the wall at the same time and can work synchronously. One advantage of the whiteboard wall is that it can serve as a shared space for artefacts that remain on display for the duration of a project phase while the projectors [See Technical Equipment] can be used to quickly access and share dynamic information.
  3. Interactive Whiteboard
    The interactive whiteboard supports presentations, video conferencing, brainstorming sessions, and small group work. Screen recording software and interactive tools allow the digital artefacts to be preserved. The whiteboard and the two ceiling mounted projectors provide parallel projection of three different sets of content to support small group work and allow for cross-comparisons.
  4. The Couch
    The Design Studio has an informal area consists of a couch and several comfortable chairs, which offer several advantages. It allows participants to change settings and relax (especially important for longer sessions) and also allows the capturing of data during informal discussions. It also serves as a breakout space for small group work.
  5. Lighting
    Versatile lighting options support different usages of the room, such as group discussions, and multi-media presentations. Daylight fluorescent lamps and LED strips are configurable.

Technical Equipment

  • Video-recording
    The Design Studio is set up with 3 high definition video cameras recording movement throughout the space. This is supplemented with 4 still image cameras that record high resolution 'time lapse' sequences of whatever is happening on the walls and boards. All of the cameras can be reconfigured for specific design activities, such as groups of people working around a table, recording details of their writing, and sketching.
  • Audio-recording
    Audio is recorded through voice recorders and in-built camera microphones. A typical session will produce eleven audio feeds, taken from different locations in the studio and from individual participants via lapel microphones.
  • Projectors
    Two ceiling-mounted projectors use the whiteboard walls as projection surfaces. Each projector can be configured either to display a desktop computer or a tablet computer.


Post production of data involves moving large amounts of video, image, and audio data from the recording devices to our workstation. We use video editing software for most of the post-production video and audio manipulation. All video, audio, and image feeds (along with other data inputs, such as computer and other tool use) are collated and synchronised in our bespoke control tool. This tool allows researchers to view any of the video feeds and to switch feeds as different areas of The Design Studio move in and out of the researchers' focus. Any of the audio channels can be turned on or off, again providing researchers with the ability to isolate specific verbal interactions. On going enhancements and customised development are enabling us to create tools for advanced and complex data analysis.


If you are interested in participating in our research project or have questions regarding our project, please send an email to (Martin Parisio and David Ashe).