The ADDIE model is an instructional design model used by training developers and other educators. It consists of five critical phases: Analyses, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate.
Since its development in the 1970s, experts have used the ADDIE Instructional Design (ID) model to plan and design training programs. Even after five decades, ADDIE is still the most commonly used ID model.
The ADDIE Process
While originally designed to be completed in a linear fashion, the ADDIE process we know today is more dynamic and interactive:
Phase 1: Analysis
Before developing any new instructional content, it’s important to analyses the current situation. Take a look at how everything is organized and designed to gain a better understanding of the gaps you need to fill. The Analysis phase is also where you’ll set your instructional goals and objectives.
Ask good questions – using who, what, why, where, when and how – such as:
Who is the audience?
What are their core characteristics?
What problem are we aiming to solve?
What is the outcome we hope to achieve?
Why might the audience want to do this training?
What is the current knowledge level of the audience? Are there any gaps?
What tools do we need to deliver the information?
Where will this training take place (i.e. e-learning or in-person)?
When does this project need to be completed?
Milestone: At the end of the Analysis phase, you should have a plan for your course or training and know what you will need to achieve the desired outcome.
Phase 2: Design
In the Design phase, we use everything we compiled in the analysis phase to start designing the optimal learning experience. This phase of the ADDIE model often takes the longest and requires the designer to have great attention to detail.
This is when you will work on designing key attributes such as:
Subject matter & content
Exercises & assessments
Media (e.g., videos, images, graphics, audio, etc.)
Next is to create a storyboard, or, if time permits, a working prototype to communicate the training’s value to other stakeholders.
Milestone: At the end of the Design phase, you should have an outline for the course, design elements and a storyboard and/or prototype.
Phase 3: Development
During the Development phase, it’s time to bring your ideas and plan to life by actually building the learning experience. By this point, the content and strategy has been decided. If the design phase was done properly, you should be able to use your storyboards and/or prototype to guide you.
Some of the activities of the Development phase include creating graphics, recording audio and videos and (where applicable) working with programmers to develop or integrate necessary technologies.
Development is not only for creating learning outcomes but for testing them, too. This phase of the ADDIE model should be highly iterative (i.e. built by rounds of feedback).
Milestone: At the end of the Development phase, your entire course or training should be completed.
Phase 4: Implementation
Your course has been created – now it’s time for learners to try it out!
If you are creating an online course (i.e., eLearning), you will typically need to upload your course to the Learning Management System, or LMS. Delivery aspects will need to be dictated as well, such as:
Who will be enrolled
How much time they will be given
What the passing threshold will be for assessments
How feedback will be collected
This phase is iterative as well, and instructional designers will need to continually revise, update or even redesign elements of the training as necessary.
Milestone: At the end of the Implementation phase, your course should be live in the LMS and available for learners to complete.
Phase 5: Evaluation
Now that your course or training has been designed, developed and implemented, you need to check whether the learning experience is meeting the objectives you set.
There are two parts to the evaluation phase:
Formative – Present throughout every stage of the ADDIE model
Summative – Take place at the end of the program
In other words, some form of evaluation is always taking place throughout the process. As the course is evaluated, the instructional designer needs to decide whether any issues that arose have been addressed and whether the objectives are being met.
Milestone: At the end of the Evaluation phase, you should have a better understanding of what needs to be changed or improved within the learning experience. This information should also help you better design future courses and training programs.