What is ADDIE in Instructional Design?

Building a home requires a design, a plan, and a step-by-step process. What would happen if you tried to build a home without any design or planning? You would likely make a lot of mistakes that you would have to fix later. You may buy too much or not enough of the right materials, costing you a lot of money. The home may end up being ugly at best or unsafe and unlivable at the worst. 

Like building a home, planning and having a design for your curriculum and instructional content will save you time and money, and it can help you achieve a more desirable final product. 

ADDIE is one of the most popular training processes for creating training and learning curriculum. In ADDIE the design team plans each step of instruction before moving onto the next one. 

Can you imagine trying to write a script or create a storyboard before you know who your audience is or what the objectives are? Following a structured process can help you feel confident in where you are directing your energies. ADDIE consists of five areas:

Why use ADDIE?

Using a process for developing training and curriculum helps learning professionals create in the most efficient way possible. In the world of training and instructional design, there are limitations on time, money, technology, and other resources. Following ADDIE is simply a way of following a planning process that accounts for the most important elements of instruction. Following ADDIE has many benefits including but not limited to the following:

  • Saves time and money
  • Helps an organization identify and reach specific goals with specific deadlines
  • Creates consistency and coherence
  • Allows for a common language among the design team
  • Encourages improvement of training
  • Helps learning professionals focus their efforts most efficiently rather than wandering haphazardly and aimlessly
  • Is scalable to a variety of topics and settings 
  • Allows for flexibility 

ADDIE is Iterative. So, What does that Mean?

Adjustments and improvements are a part of the training and curriculum design process. An iterative process is not random, it is focused and deliberate. The design team may move back and forth among stages in order to make improvements or corrections. Following an ADDIE process allows for designers to work towards the desired training result through repeated cycles of calculated trial and error.

Let’s now take a look at each of the phases of ADDIE.

The analysis stage involves gathering data and making decisions that will guide the other stages. Communication occurs with the training sponsors, management, and design team members such as graphic designers, corporate trainers, or programmers. Also, work performance data, surveys, academic records, or other sources of data may need to be reviewed. 

The following questions are assessed at this stage:

  • What are the specific learning or performance challenges that the curriculum or training will address?
  • Is training the most relevant solution to the challenge?
  • What are the specific learning and performance objectives?
  • What specific content is necessary to help the audience achieve those objectives?
  • Who is the target audience? 
  • What are the most appropriate delivery methods (online, classroom, videos, modules, etc.)
  • What are the resources and constraints? How much time and money are available for this project? When are the deadlines? What technology will be used?
  • Who will need to be contacted to help prepare this training?
  • How will the course be made available to the learners? LMS, email, etc?

During the Design stage, the blueprint is created for the instruction. There are several major activities that occur during this stage:

  • The information and content is sequenced into logical segments or units
  • Storyboards and scripts are created for eLearning
  • Rough drafts of scripts or training outlines are created
  • Communication continues to occur with the design team, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and the training sponsor. 
  • Map out timelines and deadlines
  • Choose the assessment method
  • Reports may be created that outlines the content to be covered as well as the strategies for implementation.

At this stage, the content moves from blueprint to building. There are several key activities that occur at this stage. 

  • Storyboards and scripts move from the draft forms into more finalized versions
  • More finalized training materials are produced. These deliverables may include instructional training guides, videos, training modules, audio, animations, graphics, job aids, and more.
  • Learning activities are planned such as quizzes, games, role-plays, discussion questions, and knowledge checks
  • Communication continues with the development team, SMEs, and training sponsors, as needed
  • Assets are assembled such as photos, images, graphics
  • The project documents are further reviewed and feedback is given to the designers

Implementation is the moment of truth. It’s the stage where you can see the training in action. Learners are given access to the training and learning materials. Elearning, job aids, and classes are now accessed by the participants. As part of the implementation, surveys and course feedback forms are complete in order to assist with the evaluation of the training.

Evaluation involves reviewing both the instructional components and the resulting outcomes of instruction to determine whether instruction achieves the desired outcomes. Evaluation intersects with all of the other stages of the ADDIE process. 

There are two major components to Evaluation: Formative and Summative. Conducting both types of evaluation will improve the effectiveness of training and curriculum over time. Let’s take a look at each type of Evaluation. 

Formative Evaluation

This type of evaluation refers to the ongoing evaluation conducted throughout each of the other stages. It is the process of evaluating instruction and instructional materials to obtain feedback that drives revisions to make the instruction more efficient and effective. Common activities include:

  • The Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and trainers review the components of the training such as the print and digital material, assessments, accuracy and relevance of the content, and the logic of the sequencing
  • Consultation occurs with the technology experts to assure the compatibility of learner technology and resources with the proposed delivery methods
  • Field testing and prototyping occur during the training. Components of the training and material may be tested on small groups of learners. The learners are asked for feedback about the training and materials. 
  • Technology is tested to make sure the audience will be able to access the training
  • Assessments of learner attitudes, learning, performance, and motivation in relation to the training material occur

There are several aims for conducting a Formative Evaluation. The Formative Evaluation process can help the design team:

  • Anticipate potential barriers before they occur
  • Respond to challenges as they happen
  • Avoid repeating mistakes
  • Make course corrections throughout the process towards the desired training outcome

Summative Evaluation

The purpose of the Summative Evaluation is to determine if the training objectives were met. A report is typically written and the data shared among the design time and with the training sponsors. There are several popular models and approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of training but they all explore these questions:

  • Were the training objectives met?
  • Was the instruction cost-effective? In other words, was it worth the time and money spent on it?
  • What changes can be made in future training and curriculum? How can we make this training better?
  • What outcome data is available?
  • Who will the data be shared with?

Published by Neurofeedsnack

Having worked in the field of counseling and corporate training I have a fascination for how our brain manages all of the information, emotions, and obstacles we get from our personal and professional lives. I have a passion for learning how neuroscience, psychology, fitness, and nutrition can help us live a more fulfilling and productive life at home, in our recreation, and at work.

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