Many studies report changes taking place in the field of higher education, changes which present considerable challenges to educational practice. Educational science should contribute to developing design guidance, enabling practitioners to respond to these challenges. Design patterns, as a form of design guidance, show potential since they promise to facilitate the design process and provide common ground for communication. However, the potential of patterns has not been fully exploited yet. We have proposed the introduction of a task conceptualization as an abstract view of the concept chosen as central: the task. The choice of the constituting elements of the task conceptualization has established an analytical perspective for analysis and (re)design of (e)learning environments. One of the constituting elements is that of ‘boundary objects’, which has added a focus on objects facilitating the coordination, alignment and integration of collaborative activities. The presented task conceptualization is deliberately generic in nature, to ease the portability between schools of thought and make it suitable for a wide target audience. The conceptualization and the accompanying graphical and textual representations have shown much promise in supporting the process of analysis and (re)design and add innovative insights to the domain of facilitating the creation of design patterns.