This paper proposes a system, the Smart Learning Design Framework, designed to support the development of pedagogically sound learning material within an integrated, platform-independent data structure. The system supports sharing, reuse and adaptation of learning material via a metadata-driven philosophy that enables the technicalities of the system to be imperceptible to the author and consumer. The system proposes the use of pedagogically focused metadata to support and guide the author and to adapt and deliver the content to the targeted consumer. A prototype of the proposed system, which provides proof of concept for the novel processes involved, has been developed. The paper describes the Smart Learning Design Framework and places it within the context of alternative learning object models and frameworks to highlight similarities, differences and advantages of the proposed system.