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This paper describes different design levels in the development of an intelligent tutoring systems (ITS). Our ITS design proposal should ease the process of ITS development and make it more efficient. Firstly, we present a direct-mapping from the uppermost abstract level to the structural level. Next, we present a first direct top-down approach to design the ITS from its structural level. Since it has some drawbacks, we then propose a second design approach, using a framework. We thus define what we call an ITS-framework, and we show how such a framework can make the design and the development of an ITS more efficient thanks to reusability, flexibility and extensibility. We end up discussing the advantages and disadvantages of this second, framework-based, approach.