Instructional design, architectural theory of design, message layer, functional design, layer design, design theory, design architecture, control layer


This research provides a second point of validation for an architectural theory of instructional design (Gibbons, 2014) by demonstrating a robust theory-layer relationship for the Message layer. Previous research validated the theory-layer correspondence for the Control layer, a companion channel used for conversational exchange between learner and instructional system. This research identifies specific theoretical contributions to message layer design from fields as diverse as dialogic systems, recommender systems, social network software, intelligent tutoring systems, conversation theory, learning sciences, interface design, user experience design, computer software design, and education. An unexpected finding is that analysis at the message level, about which relatively little is written, reveals the message to be a design currency exchanged in common in the plans of instructors, multimedia designers, intelligent tutor designers, and human tutors.

Document Type

Conference Paper

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David O. McKay School of Education


Instructional Psychology and Technology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor