You are expecting this piece to say how to use the ADDIE Instructional Design Model, but ADDIE is not a model – it is a conceptual framework. What does this mean for its use and validity?
ADDIE Training Design Model
ADDIE is often used as a model in the design of training. It is believed that ADDIE started in the world of instructional design in US military as a methodology to design and build large scale training solutions. As such it should be considered in more formal design situations rather than one off events.
Introduction to ADDIE
Research in 2005, when the term ADDIE was common in the field of Instructional Design showed no clear definition or meaning – http://www.unco.edu/cetl/sir/clt/documents/IDTf_Bic.pdf. In this piece the author Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Ph.D., Indiana University writes about her frustrations on how the “model” had become ubiquitous with the term “Systematic Instructional Design” and purported to be a model to aid professionals, when in reality it did nothing of the sort!
So let’s look at this in the way most people in the field do… at least to start with…
What is ADDIE?
The ADDIE Instructional Design Model is a “well-known” set of steps or processes that is used by people to design training content. Addie is used by experienced Instructional Designers as well as line managers and subject matter experts (SME’s) producing local training materials and toolbox talks.
ADDIE is an acronym for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation.
Analysis – understanding your audience, problem to solve, goals and objectives. We need to know “where the individual or team is now”, and what skills will be needed.
Design – Based on the identified learning objectives and the context analysis, the outline of the programme is devised. Select the appropriate delivery vehicle (classroom, e-learning, toolbox talk etc.)
Development – Build the detailed programme. This can be in an agile way – build test, adjust, or a more conventional write, re-write, pilot, review process etc.
Implementation – This is the main delivery of the learning solution. On large scale project this may include the delivery of any pilot programmes. For larger projects delivery of train-the-trainer programmes as well as the actual delivery to meet the needs of learners is often included.
Evaluation – Has the programme delivered enough to fill the gap identified in the analysis phase? Were the expectations of the business and the individual learners met?
Remember the ADDIE model is a continuous circle of steps. This loops back into the first phase, refining the process to improve the learning solution being developed.
According to Don Clarke
“While the ADDIE model has been around since 1975, it was generally known as SAT (System Approach to Training) or ISD (Instructional System Design). The earliest reference that I have been able to locate that uses the acronym of “ADDIE” is a paper by Michael Schlegel (1995), in A Handbook of Instructional and Training Program Design.”
– See document http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED383281.pdf
In its earliest manifestations ADDIE was a “beginning to end process” approach. A flow. The earliest graphical versions of this show the model as a “waterfall” approach. In reality of course this is not very practical. In recent years the model is used more organically, where the ADDIE steps are generally used as a rapid cycle approach, where the users cycle around the loop as required to ensure the resulting training solution is fit for purpose.
A shorter four step loop of Analyse – Design – Develop – Implement is typically used, with an evaluation “check” after each stage. This when an analysis is done an evaluation is completed asking questions such as “is this really the situation?”.
Evaluation is part of the methodology of the development process, not a “stage” or a single event in itself.
Strengths & Weaknesses of ADDIE
It is said in Instructional Design circles that the greatest strength of ADDIE is the linear, systematic approach it tends to generate. This is in theory a robust and logical process. Others argue that this is also its weakness, as learning is not a linear process.
The process was originally designed for the US military. This supported an environment where once the need had been identifies, a large number of people were available to undertake the learning solution.
Where change is slow, and there are large numbers of people to train in the same thing, this robust, systematic approach is sensible. However in 2015, for the vast majority of Learning and development solutions needed, this is just not practical. Nor is a systematic approach cost effective. When used as an agile tool however, ADDIE can help to provide some structure to what could otherwise be a chaotic situation.
Limitations of the ADDIE Instructional Design Model
The use of the ADDIE framework or ADDIE Instructional Design Model can be a valuable process for designing engaging learning, instruction and training. Many would argue that ADDIE as a ISD tool is unrivalled. The biggest weakness of ADDIE is that it ignores the business needs and factors. ADDIE was developed (for the US military) to provide a good learning experience, not solve business issues and problems.
To help meet business needs and solve business problems, the tools from six sigma or LEAN should be used in conjunction with the ADDIE process.
It is also important to remember that The ADDIE instructional design model makes no attempt to check to see if a training (or Learning and Development) solution is the most appropriate approach to solve the problem. So before starting any design approach using ADDIE the question needs to be asked – Is training the solution?
What are your experiences? Does the ADDIE instructional design model work for you? What alternatives do you prefere? Why?