In architectural education the process of design has evolved with the development of CAD technology. In many design schools throughout the world, the computer has extended its role beyond that of a drafting machine to become a tool for performance modelling. Applications currently used by students test lighting, thermal conditions, and structural validity, to name a few. However the goals in education are not identical to those in practice, and digital modelling can support learning in many ways that are not particularly useful or appropriate in professional practice. In the design of structures there are three fundamental levels of understanding: behaviour, form, and performance. Each has its place in design education and uses digital modelling in different forms. This paper describes various pedagogical models that incorporate computer aided drawing and performance modelling in the teaching of structures. Examples of student exercises and projects are discussed.