In this research–in–progress paper, we employ design science research to articulate design knowledge for chatbots in higher education practice. We conducted a literature review to factor previous research into the design process. In addition, we performed a content analysis of student e-mails and forum posts from four instances of a basic Java programming course. Drawing from literature and data, we present a conceptual architecture for chatbots in higher education, discuss its rationale, and provide a proof-of-concept implementation. We conclude with a discussion including tentative design recommendations and a plan for continued research.