It took me a while to find it on my shelves, but I finally dug out Patterns of Software: Tales from the Software Community, which is a book on applying Christopher Alexander's ideas to software engineering. For a good chunk of this book, you could take out words like "software," "code," and "objects," and substitute "courses," "content," and "learning objects" without too much problem.
Here's a good example:
What gets in the way of software [courseware] habitability is overdesign, overabstraction, and the beautiful, taught monument of software [the Course]. Alexander calls this large lump development:
Large lump development hinges on a view of the environment which is static and discontinuous; piecemeal growth hinges on a view of the environment which is dynamic and continuous....According to the large lump point of view, each act of design or construction is an isolated event which creates an isolated building--"perfect" at the time of its construction, and then abandoned by its builders and designers forever. According to the piecemeal point of view, every environment is changing and growing all the time, in order to keep its use in balance; and the quality of the environment is a kind of semi-stable equilibrium in the flux of time....Large lump development is based on the idea of replacement. Piecemeal growth is based on the idea of repair.
Recall that one of the tenets of encapsulation is that the interface [content] be separate from the implementation [context] because this permits the implementation [context] to be replaced when needed.
The problem with traditional approaches to abstraction and encapsulation is that they aim at complete information [context] hiding. This characteristic anticipates being able to eliminate programming [rewriting] from parts of the software development [instructional design] process, those parts contained within module boundaries. As we've seen, though, the need to program [design] is never eliminated because customization, modification, and maintenance are always required--that is, piecemeal growth.