HVE Design YOUniversity

Content and Substance

Content and Substance - A Design Quality of Context

Content and Substance, which refers to what is to be learned and the level of student interest in the subject or topic. How do student feel about this subject/skill? Do they find it intrinsically valuable or are they disinterested, or mayne even hostile toward the topics to be considered? How much experience have students had with the subject of this standard and how successful have they been?

Is the content


  • Rich and culturally relevant?
  • Aligned to state standards?
  • Appropriate to maturity levels, experience and backgrounds?
  • Packaged attractively?
  • Accurate?


Content and Substance. Learning to read and to write complete sentences, for example, is not the same as learning to write persuasively and to read critically, thoughtfully, and well. Educators should commit themselves to designing work that engages all students and helps them attain rich and profound knowledge. If such profound mastery is limited to students who are more socially or economically advantaged or otherwise already capable of high-quality intellectual work without as much teacher effort then the dream of democracy cannot truly be realized.

When Focusing on the Design Quality of Content and Substance, Ask Yourself These Questions

  • What subjects, content, or skills will students need to master and at what level?
  • Why is it important that they know these things?


All information has been taken from the Schlechty Center.