The ADDIE Model: Instructional Design

For many years now, educators and instructional designers alike have used the ADDIE Instructional Design (ID) method as a framework in designing and developing educational and training programs. “ADDIE” stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. This sequence, however, does not impose a strict linear progression through the steps. Educators, instructional designers and training developers find this approach very useful because having stages clearly defined facilitates implementation of effective training tools. As an ID model, Addie Model has found wide acceptance and use.

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This fully online program is designed for individuals interested in learning more about the ADDIE model. The purpose of this course is to provide trainers/teachers with the fundamental skills in instructional design needed to develop successful training events.
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Most ID models are variations of the ADDIE model.

The concept of Instructional Design can be traced back to as early as the 1950s. But it wasn’t until 1975 that ADDIE was designed. Originally developed for the U.S. Army by the Centre for Educational Technology at Florida State University, ADDIE was later implemented across all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The ADDIE model was based on an earlier ID model, the Five Step Approach, which had been developed by the U.S. Air Force. The ADDIE model retained this five-step feature, and included many sub-stages within each of the five broad phases. Due to the hierarchical structure of the steps, one had to complete the process in a linear fashion, completing one phase before starting the next.

Practitioners over the years have made several revisions in the stages of the original hierarchical version. This has made the model more interactive and dynamic. It was in the mid-1980s that the version similar to the current version appeared. Today, the influence of the ADDIE method can be seen on most ID models being used.

Addie: Stages

Addie model
The five components of the Addie Model are:

Analysis

The Analysis phase can be considered as the “Goal-Setting Stage.” The focus of the designer in this phase is on the target audience. It is also here that the program matches the level of skill and intelligence that each student/participant shows. This is to ensure that what they already know won’t be duplicated, and that the focus will instead be on topics and lessons that students have yet to explore and learn. In this phase, instructors distinguish between what the students already know and what they should know after completing the course.

Several key components are to be utilized to make sure analysis is thorough. Course texts and documents, syllabi and the internet are to be employed. With the help of online materials such as web courses, a structure can be determined as the primary guide for the syllabus. At the end of the program, instructional analysis will be conducted to determine what subjects or topics are to be included. The Analysis Phase generally addresses the following issues and questions:

  1. What is the typical background of the students/participants who will undergo the program? Personal and educational information such as age, nationality, previous experiences and interests should be determined. What is the target group? What are the educational goals, past knowledge levels, experiences, ages, interests, cultural background etc. of the learners?
  2. What do the students need to accomplish at the end of the program? What are the learner’s needs?
  3. What will be required in terms of skills, intelligence, outlook and physical/psychological action-reaction? What are the desired learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, behavior etc.?
  4. Determining popular methods being used around the subject and taking a look at what needs to be developed and improved. Review of existing instructional strategies employed. Are they adequate? What aspects need to be added, clarified and improved upon?
  5. Determining target objectives of the project. What instructional goals does the project focus on?
  6. Determining the various options available with respect to learning environment. What is the most conducive learning environment? A combination of live or online discussions? What are the Pros and Cons between online- and classroom-based study? What delivery option is to be chosen? What type of learning environment is preferred? Does one opt for online or face-to-face or a blend of both? If online is preferred what will be the difference in learning outcomes between classroom-based learning and web-based learning?
  7. Determining limiting factors to the overall goal of the project. What limiting factors exist with respect to resources, including technical, support, time, human resources, technical skills, financial factors, support factors?

Design

This stage determines all goals, tools to be used to gauge performance, various tests, subject matter analysis, planning and resources. In the design phase, the focus is on learning objectives, content, subject matter analysis, exercise, lesson planning, assessment instruments used and media selection.

The approach in this phase should be systematic with a logical, orderly process of identification, development and evaluation of planned strategies which target the attainment of the project’s goals. It should follow a very specific set of rules, and each element of the instructional design plan must be executed with attention to detail. Being a stickler for the details is crucial to the success of the design stage. This systematic approach makes sure that everything falls within a rational and planned strategy, or set of strategies, that has the ultimate goal of reaching the project’s targets. During the design stage, the IDs need to determine:

  1. Different types of media to be used. Audio, Video and Graphics are prime examples. Are third party resources going to be utilized or will the IDs create their own? Will you prepare the teaching learning material?
  2. Various resources at hand required to complete the project. What are the available resources at your disposal for completing the project?
  3. Level and types of activity to be generated during the study. Is it going to be collaborative, interactive or on a per participant basis?
  4. Using a teacher’s style approach, how will you implement the parts of the project (i.e. behaviorist, constructivist, etc.)?
  5. Time frame for each activity. How much time is to be assigned to each task, and how will learning be implemented (per lesson, chapter, module, etc.)? Do the topics require a linear progression in presentation (i.e. easy to difficult)?
  6. The different mental processes needed by the participants in order to meet the targets of the project. What are the prescribed cognitive skills for students to achieve the project’s learning goals?
  7. Knowledge and skill developed after each task. Do you have a way of determining that such values have indeed been achieved by the students? What is the method adopted by you to determine the acquisition of desired competencies by the students?
  8. The roadmap of how the study or project will appear on paper. Will it be advantageous to the ID to create a map of the different activities to see if they are in line with the goal of the project?
  9. If the project is web-based, what kind of user interface will you employ? Do you already have an idea on how the site will look like?
  10. The feedback mechanism you will use to determine if the participants are able to digest the lessons. What is the mechanism designed by you to obtain the learners’ feedback on material learnt?
  11. Given the wide variety of student preferences and learning styles, what method will you implement to make sure that the program fits their wants? How will you design your project activities so as to appeal to diverse learning styles and interests of students? Will you opt for variety in delivery options and media type?
  12. Pinpoint the main idea of the project (training activity).

Development

The Development stage starts the production and testing of the methodology being used in the project. In this stage, designers make use of the data collected from the two previous stages, and use this information to create a program that will relay what needs to be taught to participants. If the two previous stages required planning and brainstorming, the Development stage is all about putting it into action. This phase includes three tasks, namely drafting, production and evaluation. Development thus involves creating and testing of learning outcomes. It aims to address the following questions:

  1. Is the time frame being adhered to in relation to what has been accomplished in terms of material? Are you creating materials as per schedule?
  2. Do you see team work across various participants? Are the members working effectively as a team?
  3. Are participants contributing as per their optimal capacity?
  4. Are the materials produced up to task on what they were intended for?

Implementation

The implementation stage reflects the continuous modification of the program to make sure maximum efficiency and positive results are obtained. Here is where IDs strive to redesign, update, and edit the course in order to ensure that it can be delivered effectively. “Procedure” is the key word here. Much of the real work is done here as IDs and students work hand in hand to train on new tools, so that the design can be continuously evaluated for further improvement. No project should run its course in isolation, and in the absence of proper evaluation from the IDs. Since this stage gains much feedback both from IDs and participants alike, much can be learned and addressed.

Design evaluation is done in the implementation phase. Designers play a very active role in this stage, which is crucial for the success of the project. Developers should consistently analyze, redesign and enhance the product to ensure effective product delivery. Meticulous monitoring is a must. Proper evaluation of the product, course or program, with necessary and timely revisions, is done in this phase. When instructors and learners actively contribute during the implementation process, instantaneous modifications can be made to the project, thus making the program more effective and successful.

The following are examples of what can be determined:

  1. Advise on your preferred method of record keeping, as well as the actual data you would like to mine from the experience of students interfacing with the project.
  2. What is the emotional feedback given to you by teachers and students during initial demonstration of the project? Are they genuinely interested, eager, critical or resistant?
  3. As the project proceeds, do you see that IDs are able to grasp the topic immediately or do they need help?
  4. Explain how you are going to deal with any possible errors during testing. What will your response be if, after presenting activities to students, things do not go as planned?
  5. Did you prepare a back-up tool in the event of initial failure of the project? When technical and other problems arise do you have a back-up strategy?
  6. Will you go for implementation on a small scale or a large scale?
  7. When the student group gets the material can they work independently, or is constant guidance required?

Evaluation

The last stage of the ADDIE method is Evaluation. This is the stage in which the project is being subjected to meticulous final testing regarding the what, how, why, when of the things that were accomplished (or not accomplished) of the entire project. This phase can be broken down into two parts: Formative and Summative. The initial evaluation actually happens during the development stage. The Formative phase happens while students and IDs are conducting the study, while the Summative portion occurs at the end of the program. The main goal of the evaluation stage is to determine if the goals have been met, and to establish what will be required moving forward in order to further the efficiency and success rate of the project.

Every stage of the ADDIE process involves formative evaluation. This is a multidimensional—and essential—component of the ADDIE process. Evaluation is done throughout the implementation phase with the aid of the instructor and the students. After implementation of a course or program is over, a summative evaluation is done for instructional improvement. Throughout the evaluation phase the designer should ascertain whether problems relevant to the training program are solved, and whether the desired objectives are met.

While often overlooked due to time constraints and monetary reasons, Evaluation is an essential step of the whole ADDIE method as it aims to answer the following questions:

  1. Determine the categories that will be established to evaluate the effectiveness of the project (i.e. improved learning, increased motivation etc.) On what factors or criteria will the effectiveness of project be determined?
  2. Determine the way you will implement data collection, as well as the timing at which it will be effectively made. When will the data related to the project’s overall effectiveness be collected and how?
  3. Determine a system for analyzing participant feedback.
  4. Determine the method to be used if some parts of the project need to be changed prior to full release. On what basis will you arrive at a decision to revise certain aspects of the project before its full implementation?
  5. Determine the method by which reliability and content validity can be observed.
  6. Determine the method by which you will know if instructions are clear. How is the clarity of instructions assessed?
  7. Determine the method by which you can analyze and grade the response of the participants on the project.
  8. Determine who gets to receive your final output regarding the project. Who will prepare this report on the results of the evaluation?