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The five phases—Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation—represent a dynamic, flexible guideline for building effective training and performance support tools. It is an Instructional Systems Design (ISD) model. Most of the current instructional design models are spin-offs or variations of the ADDIE model; other models include the Dick & Carey and Kemp ISD models. One commonly accepted improvement to this model is the use of rapid prototyping. This is the idea of receiving continual or formative feedback while instructional materials are being created. This model attempts to save time and money by catching problems while they are still easy to fix. For example, the ADDIE model was used in the framework for helping create new research topics in learning technology (Liu, 2008). Instructional theories also play an important role in the design of instructional materials. Theories such as behaviorism, constructivism, social learning and cognitivism help shape and define the outcome of instructional materials.
In the ADDIE concept, each step has an outcome that bleeds into the subsequent step. Analysis > Design > Development > Implementation > Evaluation
 Analysis Phase
In the analysis phase, the instructional problem is clarified, the instructional goals and objectives are established and the learning environment and learner's existing knowledge and skills are identified. Below are some of the questions that are addressed during the analysis phase: • • • • • • • Who is the audience and what are their characteristics? What is the new behavioral outcome? What types of learning constraints exist? What are the delivery options? What are the online pedagogical considerations? What are the Adult Learning Theory considerations? What is the timeline for project completion?
 Design Phase
The design phase deals with learning objectives, assessment instruments, exercises, content, subject matter analysis, lesson planning and media selection. The design phase should be systematic and specific. Systematic means a logical, orderly method of identifying, developing and evaluating a set of planned strategies targeted for attaining the project's goals. Specific means each element of the instructional design plan needs to be executed with attention to details. These are steps involved in design phase: • • Document the project's instructional, visual and technical design strategy Apply instructional strategies according to the intended behavioral outcomes by domain (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor).
Design the user interface and user experience Create prototype Apply visual design (graphic design)
 Development Phase
The development phase is where instructional designers and developers create and assemble the content assets that were blueprinted in the design phase. In this phase, storyboards and graphics are designed. If elearning is involved, programmers develop and/or integrate technologies. Testers perform debugging procedures. The project is reviewed and revised according to the feedback received.
 Implementation Phase
During the implementation phase, a procedure for training the facilitators and the learners is developed. The facilitators' training should cover the course curriculum, learning outcomes, method of delivery, and testing procedures. Preparation of the learners includes training them on new tools (software or hardware) and student registration. This is also the phase where the project manager ensures that the books, hands-on equipment, tools, CD-ROMs and software are in place, and that the learning application or website is functional.
 Evaluation Phase
The evaluation phase consists of two parts: formative and summative. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process. Summative evaluation consists of tests designed for domain specific criterion-related referenced items and providing opportunities for feedback from the users which were identified
 Comparison to Other Models
Peter Block also has a model, mostly used by consultants, that is comparable to the ADDIE model. Block's steps measure up to the ADDIE model as follows: Analysis -> Entry & Contracting, Data Collection & Diagnosis, Feedback & Decision to Act Design -> Implementation Development -> Implementation Implementation ->Implementation Evaluation -> Extension, Recycle or Termination
• • •
Liu, G. Z. (2008). Innovating research topics in learning technology: Where are the new blue oceans?.British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(4), 738-747. Molenda, M. (2003). In search of the elusive addie model. Performance improvement, 42(5), 34. Strickland, A.W. (2006). ADDIE. Idaho State University College of Education Science, Math & Technology Education. Retrieved June 29, 2006.
The ADDIE Instructional Design Model
A Structured Training Methodology
The ADDIE instructional design model provides a step-by-step process that helps training specialists plan and create training programs. The ADDIE design model revolves around the following five components:
• • • • •
Analysis Design Development Implementation Evaluation
These five stages of the ADDIE model encompass the entire training development process, from the time someone first asks, "What do people need to learn?" all the way to the point where someone actually measures, "Did people learn what they needed?"
The ADDIE Process
The ADDIE instructional design model forms a roadmap for the entire training project. Intulogy uses this popular instructional design model to help our clients analyze their training needs, design and develop training materials, implement training, and evaluate its effectiveness. Sometimes, Intulogy works directly with a client's training specialists, who have studied the ADDIE model in graduate school. However, we're often contacted by directors and executives who know their company has a training need, but they don't know much about the instructional design process.
Intulogy's training specialists share a flowchart of the ADDIE instructional design model with our clients. It helps our clients locate where they are in the training project lifecycle, and it provides a common language for us to discuss the project. Each page in the ADDIE section library offers a link to this flowchart in the left-hand navigation bar.
Explore and Learn
In this section of the training library, you'll learn how Intulogy uses the ADDIE instructional design model to help our clients meet their training needs. We've blended a discussion of the theory with the experience of our training specialists. If you're interested in how the ADDIE model applies to corporate training projects, check out our In the Workplace section. You can explore the ADDIE methodology step-by-step by following the "next" button or you can jump directly to the topics that interest you. The grand tour of the ADDIE model begins with an introduction to the first phase—the needs analysis.
The ADDIE Analysis Phase
The First Steps to Quality Training
Let's take a look at the first phase in the ADDIE instructional design model— the analysis phase. Great training programs don't come together by accident. They require planning and analysis. You'll produce the best training if you first analyze three important areas:
• • • The business goals you want to achieve The material that must be taught The learners' current capabilities
In this section, we'll examine how the ADDIE analysis phase works.
The Value of a Needs Analysis
We're regularly contacted by clients that have important and urgent training projects. Sometimes, a client will ask Intulogy to skip the analysis phase and jump straight to training development. They'll say, "Let's get people writing training materials now!" However, that can be a risky and very costly approach.
Carpenters utilize the old adage, "measure twice; cut once." Even though carpenters are talking about wood, and we're talking about training, we share a common goal—do it right the first time. So, we could change the carpenter's old adage to fit the ADDIE methodology. "Analyze fully; design once." The ADDIE analysis phase serves a major role in the quality assurance process. It defines the project's needs and ways to measure its success. If you skip the ADDIE analysis phase, you can easily introduce mistaken assumptions into the project.
• • • Wrong focus—the course content may not address the company's business needs Too easy or too hard—the course could bore or frustrate the learners Incomplete, redundant, or inaccurate content—the course might not teach the correct material
If you rush to development, you may not catch those errors until you launch the course. At that point, it can be very costly to fix or redesign the course. In essence, the training needs analysis is time well-spent.
Who Guides the Needs Analysis?
During the needs analysis phase, the training specialist may speak with many people to learn about the project and its overall goals. Here are just a few examples of individuals who can provide information:
• Project sponsors (executives or senior leadership)—who can discuss the business goals and objectives • • Subject matter experts—who can describe undocumented knowledge Representative members of the target audience—who can demonstrate their current skills and behaviors
It is often critical to work with anyone who will be impacted by or have influence on the final training product.
Questions that Drive the Analysis
When you start your project with a training needs analysis, you collect critical information about business needs, learners' capabilities, and course content. Here are some of the questions that a training specialist may ask during the ADDIE analysis phase:
What are the business needs driving this training project?
• • • • • • •
What are the goals and objectives for this training project? How will you define success for both the learner and the project? How will you measure that success? Who is the intended training audience? What do the members of the learning audience already know? What do they need to learn? What resources are already available?
The training specialist uses the answers to these, and any possible combination of other questions, to write the course's performance objectives.
Steps in the Needs Analysis
In this section, you can learn about the five steps that Intulogy's training specialists perform during the ADDIE analysis phase:
• • • • •
Discover any existing materials Define measurable business goals Conduct an instructional analysis Analyze learners and contexts Write learning objectives
Some of these steps can happen concurrently, but generally our training specialists begin with the discovery process.
ADDIE Analysis: Discovery
Begin with the Discovery Process
When Intulogy's training specialists conduct a training needs analysis, they begin with the discovery process. We ask our clients to share with us any materials or documents that would be relevant to the training project. In terms of the ADDIE methodology, the training specialist uses these documents to understand the client's current situation and the training project's context. So, the discovery process serves as the foundation for the entire ADDIE model.
Collect the Information
We believe that the discovery process should happen at the beginning of the ADDIE analysis phase. When our training specialists start on a project, they ask the client to assemble the relevant documents for the project. Each training project leads to a unique discovery process. Usually, the training specialist asks the client a series of open-ended questions about existing resources and documents, so that the discovery process becomes a discussion between the training specialist and the client. Intulogy's training specialists collect as much information as possible at the beginning of the project. We believe that it's better to have plenty of data than not enough.
Analyze the Resources
Our training specialists carefully analyze the documents that they collect. They take notes and prepare their questions for subject matter experts. This self-study process helps our training specialists quickly learn about the project and its needs without placing a large time demand on the client's subject matter experts (SMEs). Our training specialists will take these questions to subject matter experts later in the ADDIE analysis process. We know that SMEs are busy people, and we acknowledge that by making efficient use of their time.
Confirm the Research
At the end of the discovery phase, the training specialists contact the client and present a list of the documents they have received and reviewed. We ask our clients to confirm that we have collected and reviewed the proper resources for the project.
The Benefits of the Discovery Process
The discovery process collects key information at the start of the project.
• Ensures the training specialists have access to key documents and resources at the start of the project • • • Places learning and knowledge gathering at the front of the project Brings the training specialist up-to-speed on the project Reduces the time commitment required from the client's subject matter experts (SMEs) • Limits the risk that training specialists might move forward without critical information
Saves time and backtracking later in the project Serves as the project's first major quality checkpoint
A Sample Discovery Process
Let's consider an example where a client has asked Intulogy to create an elearning module for its sales team. The e-learning course will describe the product's features, discuss the target audience, and present sales strategies. The client has already delivered some of this information through an instructor-led course, but the client feels that the material may need to be updated. During the discovery process, Intulogy's training specialists might ask the client for the following resources:
• • • • • • • Technical specifications and user guides for the product The existing classroom training materials Survey results and learner feedback from the instructor-led course Memos and paperwork about the training project Images (the client's corporate logo, photos of the product, etc.) Brand manual and/or e-learning style guide Technical specifications for the client's e-learning platform
ADDIE Analysis: Align with Business Goals
Define Measurable Business Goals
If a training project is to have long-lasting value, then it should be connected to specific business results that you can measure. In this step of the ADDIE analysis phase, Intulogy’s training specialists help clients identify the key business metrics they want to improve through the project. Training projects can't solve every business problem, but a good training project should be able to articulate its goals in ways that can be measured.
Envision the Successful Project
We believe that it’s important to align each training project with your company's business goals. When you define what success will look like, you’re more likely to achieve those results. So, if the training project will be successful, how will it affect people and how will it impact the company's bottom line?
Vague business goal—we want to teach a new process to our team members Specific business goal—we want to improve team member productivity by encouraging them to use best practices
Highly specific business goal—we want to improve team member productivity by 5% through increased adoption of these three best-practice procedures
It's easy to write training around vague business goals, but it's difficult to measure their impact on your company. It's also nearly impossible to measure their return on investment. When you map the project to specific business goals, you ensure that the project focuses on measurable results. You'll also be able to present your project in a way that will appeal to your company's senior leadership and even the company's CFO.
Choose Achievable Goals
Intulogy's training specialists help clients select achievable goals for their training projects. We believe that clients should set the project's business goals, since they know their needs best. We encourage a dialogue between the following groups:
• • • The project's owner Senior leadership or executives who are supporting the project Other stakeholders involved in the project's success
During the discussion, our training specialists share their knowledge and their experience with training projects. We guide the discussion and encourage the participants to address the tough questions:
• • • • Is the proposed goal realistic?—neither too high nor too low Will the project have enough time for development and implementation? What internal elements will need to support the project? Have those elements committed to the project?
The project's goals must match the client's commitment to them. We've seen companies set high training project goals that became unrealistic— because the project didn't receive enough time, resources, or cultural support.
Be Willing to Scale
Let's imagine that a pharmaceutical company wants to update its training program for newly-hired account managers. Intulogy's training specialists ask the client to define success. The project owner talks with the senior leadership, and they agree that ideally the program needs to focus on three product lines. A successful project would improve key performance metrics by 15% for each line. However, the company intends to hire a new class of account managers in ninety days, and the new course must be ready within that timeframe. Intulogy's training specialist recognizes that the project's goals exceed the time available to create the course. So, the training specialist shares this information with the client. The client then can choose between the following options:
• Reschedule the hiring date for the new account managers and allow more time for course development • • • Add additional training specialists to the project Reduce the scope and focus on a 15% improvement for one product line Update the training for all three product lines but set a lower performance metric goal
Each of these choices comes with trade-offs that go beyond the project's success. These options will affect the client's business and the bottom line. Our training specialists offer advice that help clients make informed decisions about their training projects.
Analyze Learners and Contexts
What Do Learners Already Know?
During a learner analysis, the training specialist examines the learners as a group. Sometimes this step is called a training audience analysis or even just an audience analysis. In this step, the training specialist examines the learners' current knowledge and capabilities. What do the learners already know and have the ability to do? The training specialist uses the information from the learner analysis to create a course that focuses on your learners' actual needs. If you don't conduct the learner analysis, you'll have to make assumptions about the learners' current capabilities. Sometimes, if you are very familiar with your audience, you can make informed guesses. However, some assumptions can lead to unexpected surprises when you launch the training project.
How Audience Analysis Works
Imagine that an instructional designer is creating a new-hire course for delivery drivers in the package delivery industry. The training specialist spends weeks designing and developing a course that covers the following topics:
• • • • • How to collect packages from customers How to stack packages in their truck Which forms to use How to provide customer service How to handle undelivered packages
Now, imagine that the course goes live. On the first day of class, a large portion of the class asks, "When do we learn how to drive a delivery truck?" In this example, the instructional designer didn't analyze the learners' capabilities and assumed that all of the learners would have commercial drivers' licenses. Because that assumption wasn't accurate, the course leaves a key learning issue unaddressed. The course would need to be redesigned to fit the company's hiring practices.
Keep Learners Involved
You want a course that challenges but doesn't overwhelm your learners. If you don't take time to study the learners and their contexts, you could make a course that bores learners because it's too basic. You could also create a course that's impossibly difficult for a group of learners—because it might assume that learners know more than they really do. It is not only important to know what material you're going to teach, but also what your learners need to be taught.
Conduct an Instructional Analysis
Give Learners Clear Directions
Have you ever used an online map service to create a set of driving directions? When you enter your starting point and your destination, the service provides a series of step-by-step instructions that will guide you to your goal. Training is no different; you need a roadmap and directions.
• Your learner analysis provides your project's starting location
Your company's business goals provide the destination Your instructional analysis provides the step-by-step instructions that take learners from start to finish
When Intulogy's training specialists look at a training project, they identify what people will need to learn to achieve the company's business goals. The learners might need new knowledge, skills, or behaviors. Intulogy's training specialists conduct an instructional analysis to determine how to guide learners from their current capabilities to the course's goals.
Create an Instructional Analysis
During the instructional analysis step, a training specialist might conduct a task analysis and create a competency map for learners. These tools help the training specialist define what learners must be able to do once they have completed the course. Think back for a moment about the online roadmap. You can't just walk out of your front door and instinctively know how to travel to a new place. Worse yet, imagine if you printed out a set of online directions that were missing an important turn. You might get lost and frustrated; you might even give up and never arrive at your destination. For learners, training is a journey; they rely on you to provide them with an accurate set of directions. An instructional analysis ensures that the course will:
• • • Cover all information and steps that learners will need to know Exclude information that learners already know Exclude information that learners don't need to know
The more accurate the instructional analysis, the easier the journey will be for the learners.
Think from a Learner's Perspective
If you ask an expert to create a list of steps for a task, they'll probably omit many steps they instinctively perform. An expert can take the right actions without consciously thinking about each step. When a training specialist conducts an instructional analysis, they watch the process with fresh eyes. They look for "unstated" knowledge and steps that the expert never consciously thinks about.
Imagine you want to teach someone how to write and send a letter. You probably learned this skill when you were in grade school, so you don't consciously think about all of the mundane details it takes to mail a letter. You're an expert now; you're intuitively capable of those tasks. You'd actually have to stop and think about each step that you perform.
• • • • Write the letter, including the introduction, body, and closing Address an envelope properly and legibly Affix proper postage to the envelope Deliver the envelope to the post office
That's a basic task analysis, but there are some assumptions here that could cause problems for someone just learning how to send a letter:
• • • The list never tells the learner to put the letter in the envelope. The list never tells the learner to seal the envelope. How does the learner determine proper postage? Where should the postage stamp be placed?
Now, consider all of the complex tasks involved in writing a proposal, navigating your company's in-house proprietary software, or meeting compliance requirements. If a learner doesn't know about a step, it could mean the difference between success and failure. The instructional analysis makes sure that the course content exactly matches what learners need to know.
Write the Learning Objectives
What is a Learning Objective?
At the end of the analysis phase, all of the data collection and analysis comes together into a cohesive, concise document that describes the course's learning objectives. There are several different styles of learning objectives, and each uses a specific linguistic formula. However, learning objectives generally contain the following elements:
• • An observable task that a learner will be able to perform at the end of the course The conditions utilized to perform the task
The criteria that will be used to measure a learner's success
Here's an example of a learning objective: "At the end of the course, the learner will be able to process three sample customer orders within fifteen minutes without any errors."
Check the Course's Destination
The learning objectives serve as a major quality assurance checkpoint in the ADDIE instructional design methodology. In many ways, the learning objectives are like the "destination check" that you hear when you board a commercial airline flight. The flight attendant might announce, "This is Flight 5371 to Austin, Texas." If you're not heading to Austin, you've got a chance to get off the plane before they close the doors and push away from the gate. In the same way, the learning objectives announce the course's destination. The training specialist will use these learning objectives to build the course's instructional design—including content, activities and tests. After Intulogy's training specialists write the learning objectives for a course, we present them to the client. We ask the client to review the learning objectives and assess whether their training needs are properly understood and represented. If your course doesn't have a clear set of learning objectives, you will run into two risks. First, the instructional designer will have to guess the course's goals and learning objectives. That's like telling an airline pilot to fly to California. A competent pilot could fly the plane safely to any of a dozen major airports, but what's the best destination? Vague objectives lead to imprecise results. Second, when you don't have clear learning objectives, your learners are like passengers who board a plane and just hope that it will take them to the right city. Will the course actually meet their needs and help them achieve the company's business goals?
Once we've confirmed the courses learning objectives, the training specialists will be ready to proceed to the next phase of the ADDIE model— instructional design.
ADDIE Instructional Design Phase
The Role of Instructional Design
Once a training specialist has written the course's learning objectives and confirmed them with the client, it's time to begin the instructional design phase. During the design phase, the training specialist plans what the course should look like when it's complete. At the end of the instructional design phase, the training specialist produces an instructional design document for the course. In many ways, this document is similar to an architect's blueprints or a software engineer's design document. The instructional design document describes the course's content, but it doesn't contain the course content—just like a blueprint isn't a house and a software design document isn't the actual software. In this section, we'll explore the ADDIE instructional design phase and the steps that a training specialist takes to build the instructional design document.
Create an Instructional Strategy
At the start of the instructional design phase, the training specialist should have a pretty good idea of what the learners will already know when they start the course (through a learner analysis). The training specialist should also know what learners will need to learn during the course (as stated in the learning objectives). How do you create a course that helps people move from what they already know and gain mastery of the new material? That's the question that the instructional design process answers. During the instructional design phase, the training specialist reviews the course's learning objectives and considers the following questions:
• • • • • How should content be organized? How should ideas be presented to learners? What delivery format should be used? What types of activities and exercises will best help learners? How should the course measure learners' accomplishments?
The answers to these questions help the training specialist produce the instructional design document. This document describes the course structure and its instructional strategies. During the instructional design phase, the training specialist does not create course content. The actual course content and training materials will be created during the training development phase.
Steps in the Instructional Design Phase
There are basically three steps in the instructional design phase:
• • •
Plan the instructional strategy Select the course format Write the instructional design document
We will examine each step in more detail in this section, beginning with the instructional strategy.
Developing an Instructional Strategy
At this point in the instructional design process, the training specialist makes important choices about the course's structure and its methods. Overall, these choices combine to form a comprehensive instructional strategy to help people achieve the course's learning objectives. When instructional designers create instructional strategies for courses, they draw upon theoretical knowledge and practical experience. There are many different ways to sequence and present content to learners. It's the instructional designer's responsibility to choose the correct instructional strategies for the course and the learners. On this page, we'll take a look at three issues that instructional designers consider when they devise an instructional strategy:
• • • How will course material be grouped and sequenced? What instructional methods and tactics will be used to present material? How will assessments measure a learner's success?
These three issues often overlap with each other; a choice in one area may affect the other areas.
Grouping and Sequencing Content
The training specialists must decide if any of the course's learning objectives should be grouped together. You can't teach everything at once, but sometimes it makes sense to put related topics together for the learners. These related topics can form the basis for a course module. Once topics have been grouped together, the training specialist has to organize the content into a course structure. The content inside of each group needs to be sequenced and then the groups themselves need to be sequenced together to form the course structure. Here are just a few of the many possible sequencing options:
• • • • • Step-by-step Part-to-whole Whole-to-part Known-to-unknown General-to-specific
As you can see, there are many different ways to organize and present course material. The instructional designer chooses the structure that makes the most sense for the learners and the course content.
Choosing Methods and Tactics
In the instructional design phase, the training specialist has to decide how the course material will be presented to the learners. Specifically, we're looking at the types of activities and exercises that will be in the course. Here are just a few examples of different types of learning activities:
• • • • • • Group discussions Modeling Scenarios Mnemonics Drills Applied practice
If you want to teach someone how to type on a keyboard, you might recommend rote drills and applied practice. However, if you want learners to develop interpersonal skills, rote drills offer limited value. Role play scenarios and group discussions would probably be more effective learning activities.
Generally, the course's activities and exercises must fit with the type of learning people will be asked to do.
At the end of the needs analysis phase, the training specialist created learning objectives that defined measurable tasks and criteria for success. Now, in the instructional design phase, the training specialist creates assessment tools that will measure the learners progress. If you have a driver's license, you probably completed two types of tests before you received your license. You completed a written test that measured your understanding of street signs, laws, and procedures. You probably also performed an on-the-road test where someone observed your driving skills. The two tests measure different capabilities. You could be very knowledgeable about traffic laws and procedures but a poor driver behind the wheel. Similarly, you might be good at driving the car but poor at recognizing street signs and safety procedures. You have to pass both tests before you can obtain a driver's license. The course's assessments should measure a learner's progress towards each of the learning objectives. The types of assessment must fit the learning objective.
Selecting the Course Format
Choose the Class Type
In the ADDIE model, the training specialist chooses the course's delivery method during the instructional design phase. This seemingly simple choice will affect almost every aspect of the design document and the final course content. The course delivery format should mesh with the learners' needs, the content, and also the client's business goals. Some types of course material can be easily presented through job aids and self-study materials, but other courses work best when learners come together as a class under the direct guidance of an expert instructor. The course delivery method impacts how learners experience the course and its content. If the training specialist chooses the right delivery method, it will make the learning process easier for the learners. However, if the delivery format doesn't fit the content and learner's needs, then the course will have very limited success.
Course Delivery Options
In the corporate training world, there are many different course delivery options for the instructional designer to choose from. Here's a list of some of the choices and links to other pages where we discuss these formats in more depth:
• • • • •
Instructor-led courses Paper-based self-study materials Synchronous e-learning Asynchronous e-learning Job aids
Ideally, the training specialist selects the class type during the instructional design phase. However, sometimes companies will select the delivery format even before conducting a training needs analysis. When a company preselects the delivery format, the training specialist may face a greater instructional design challenge. We'll take a closer look at that situation on our instructional design in the workplace page. Once the training specialist has chosen the course format and devised an instructional strategy, then it's time to write the instructional design document.
Instructional Design Documents
The Role of the Design Document
At the end of the instructional design phase, the training specialist writes an instructional design document. This document provides more than just a simple course outline; it provides a high-level overview of the entire training solution. A training specialist's instructional design document provides detailed instructions on how to build the course, but it doesn't contain any actual course content; it's similar to an architect's blueprint or a software engineer's design document. Generally, an instructional design document will perform the following tasks:
• • Describe the overall learning approach Identify instructional media choices
Cluster and sequence objectives Describe course exercises, activities, and assessments
Together these five elements create the overall instructional strategy for the course. A short course might have a very simple design document, but complex and lengthy courses can have very detailed design documents. The instructional design serves as a major quality assurance checkpoint. The training specialist and the client discuss and agree to the design before development begins. It's a lot easier to adjust the design than redevelop materials later in the project.
Benefits of the Design Document
Intulogy's training specialists use the instructional design document for four main purposes:
• • • • Check that the design concepts are cohesive and complete Present the proposed training solution to the client Invite feedback about the design Provide instructions to other training specialists who may work on the development phase of the project
Instructional design documents may also contain additional project-specific elements. For example, if the course has an e-learning element, the instructional designer might describe the interface's appearance and functionality. Let's take a closer look at each of these four main purposes in greater detail.
Check the Design Concepts and Content
The course's instructional strategy should allow the learners to achieve the course's learning objectives. Once the instructional design document has been written, the training specialist can take a step back and look at the whole design, not just individual pieces. The design document makes it easier to spot areas that have unresolved questions or need additional information.
Present the Proposed Solution
Intulogy's training specialists will present the instructional design document to the client. Often, we'll schedule a meeting or conference call to walk through the course design and explain our choices. Our instructional designers base their choices on adult learning theories and methodologies, but we ask them to explain their choices in language that makes sense to non-specialists. If you're not a training specialist, your eyes might glaze over if someone told you how each learning objective links to Robert Gagné's Nine Events of Instruction or Keller's ARCS Model of Motivation. You just want to make sure that the instructional design choices will actually fulfill the learning objectives. We use clear and comprehensible language to explain the choice.
Invite Feedback about the Design
After our training specialists present the instructional design, we ask for feedback from the client. We often collect suggestions from project leaders, leadership champions, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders. The instructional design document specifies what the final course will be like. It's important to build consensus and agreement before starting course development. Sometimes, when we walk through the instructional design with the client, we hear someone say, "oh, we really should add . . ." or even "that's been changed . . ." However, that's exactly the feedback we're looking for. It's much easier to revise the instructional design than to revise a fullydeveloped course.
Provide Instructions to Other Developers
Large training projects often require more than one training specialist. For example, an e-learning project may require a full team of training specialists —instructional designers, graphic artists, storyboard writers, editors, programmers, and voice talent. The instructional design document guides the complex project and allows everyone to be involved with the project's goals and structure. The instructional design document is part of the ADDIE methodology, but it's also a real-world tool that guides projects and provides a high level of quality assurance. We'll take a closer look at real-world instructional design documents on our instructional design in the workplace page.
Once the client and the training specialist have agreed on the instructional design document, it's time to start creating the course materials. In the next section, we'll look at the ADDIE training development phase.
ADDIE Development Phase
Successful Training Development
On the surface, training development seems simple—training specialists create the course materials, yet what separates a great course that fulfils its objectives from a weak course that misses its mark and puts people to sleep? Here's what our training specialists have learned through experience. A successful development phase draws upon the information collected in the needs analysis phase and the decisions made in the instructional design phase. If the team has done solid work during the first two phases of the ADDIE methodology, then the training development phase should proceed smoothly and quickly. The training specialists and client have agreed on the course's purpose, structure, and content. Now it's easy to focus on writing the materials. In contrast, if there are unresolved issues from the first two ADDIE phases, then problems usually start to appear in the training development phase. You might see missed deadlines, weak and off-target materials, and even substantial cost overruns.
Steps in Training Development
In this section, we'll look at the ADDIE model's training development phase. We'll focus our discussion on the high-level steps that are common to most training projects. If you're looking for specific advice on how to format a leader's guide or how to create an e-learning template, this section probably won't help you. Instead, we look at the strategic processes that Intulogy's training specialists use to create training materials for our clients:
• • • •
Create a prototype Develop the course materials Conduct a tabletop review Run a pilot session
Since there are many types of training projects, the development phase often adapts to fit the project and the client's needs. One project might devote a lot of time to prototyping, while another session may devote more time to tabletop review and pilot testing. In many situations, it's a matter of matching the right quality assurance steps to the project. Our training development in the workplace page explores these choices in greater detail. However, our step-by-step review of the ADDIE methodology continues with a discussion of prototyping.
Developing a Prototype
The Value of Training Prototypes
A training prototype provides a preview. It shows what the final course will look like when it is complete. Both training specialists and clients love prototypes. Until this point, people have been envisioning the course materials in their minds. In this step, the training specialist builds a tangible sample that everyone can see and discuss. Training prototypes often vary in scale and complexity. For some courses, the prototype might be just a few template pages. Other courses might need detailed step-by-step storyboards. The course's format often influences the type of prototype the training specialist will create.
Classroom Training Led by an Instructor E-learning (CBT and WBT) Blended Learning Web-based classroom Job Aids
A Possible Prototype
Sample pages (templates) from the learner and instructor guides Storyboards that show text, images, layout, animations, and voiceover instructions Samples pages and storyboards Sample pages from the learner and instructor guides Mockup that shows the design and layout
Intulogy's training specialists build prototypes that fit the type of course they're developing. Simple courses don't need massive prototypes. However, when a project grows in size and complexity, prototypes help people envision the final deliverable.
Course Templates and Prototypes
Some large companies have created standardized templates for all their print and e-learning courses. These templates provide a consistent look for the company's training message and reinforce the company's branding. With these templates, people don't have to reinvent the wheel for each new course. However, the training templates can become limiting and restrictive. Our training specialists have seen companies whose in-house brand guidelines actually inhibit learning. If a company uses standardized templates, they need to be flexible enough to allow courses to deliver their content successfully. Many companies do not have standardized in-house training templates. When that's the case, our training specialists can use one of Intulogy's inhouse templates or create a custom template for the course.
The Prototype Review Process
In the simplest format, the training specialist and the client meet to discuss the prototype. Sometimes, this review process is as simple as a one-on-one meeting between the client's representative and the training specialist. We've also worked with clients who require a number of different people and groups to approve the template. For example, the marketing department might want to confirm that the template conforms with branding guidelines and the legal department might want to ensure that the template properly protects the company's intellectual property and marks. It's really a matter of how the client structures its business and its decision-making process.
A Sample Prototype
Let's look at a sample prototype process, based on the experiences of our training specialists. Many training projects have a simple prototype review process. However, in the corporate world, the prototype process can quickly become quite complex. In this example, Intulogy's training specialists will create an e-learning project for a financial services company. The online course will teach employees how to comply with a new federal law that protects consumers' private data. The company wants the e-learning module to follow the company's branding guidelines but also wants a fresh look. The instructional designer and graphic designer review the brand manual and design a template that shows the
course's interface and navigation. In addition to the client's project leader, the marketing department asks to review the template. Once the template has been approved, the training specialists create elearning storyboards for the entire course. These storyboards show slide-byslide what the course will look like when its complete. They are similar to the storyboards that directors use when planning a movie. It's generally easier to change these mockups than to change a fully programmed course. The training specialists and the client then meet to discuss the storyboards. The client's subject matter experts review the storyboards to ensure the content is accurate and complete. Since this training project touches on legal compliance issues, the client's project manager sends the storyboards to the company's internal legal department for review and approval. Once the training prototype has been approved, it's time for the training specialists to develop the actual course materials.
Developing Training Materials
The Course Development Process
If the training specialist has followed the ADDIE instructional design model, then the prior steps will provide solid preparation for the course development process. The course developers will have access to the following information:
• • • •
Any prior course materials and other documents found in the discovery process The course's learning objectives The instructional design document A prototype or template that models the course's layout and appearance
Training specialists can certainly write courses without these resources, but it's hard to develop effective courses without this information. On this page, we'll look at the course development process.
The Role of the Course Developer
A good course developer understands both instructional design and training delivery. When the course developer creates content, two questions are paramount:
• Does this material meet the learning objectives?
Will the material work in the classroom?
For example, an instructional design document might call for an activity where learners gather into small groups and discuss case-based scenarios. It's the course developer's responsibility to write scenarios that will interest the learners and promote discussion. If the course developer doesn't understand classroom dynamics, those scenarios might fall flat or seem contrived.
The Course Development Team
The course development team can include writers, editors, graphic designers, e-learning programmers, usability experts, and project managers. Some people may be needed for the entire course development process, while other people may be called in to accomplish just a few specific tasks. Once the course materials have been written, it's time for the training specialist to conduct a tabletop review with the client.
The Tabletop Review
The Goal of Tabletop Review
After the course has been developed, the training specialist delivers a first draft of the course materials to the client. It's now time for a tabletop review of the course. During the tabletop review, the training specialist and client check the content's accuracy and completeness. They walk through the course materials as experts looking for errors rather than as learners interacting with the course. The tabletop review serves as a quality assurance step. The training specialist and client check the course's content before any learners interact with the course.
How the Tabletop Review Works
The tabletop review works best when the course developers and the client's review team can actually speak with each other. A tabletop review could occur during a face-to-face meeting or a phone call. It's much more difficult to conduct a tabletop review through e-mail or reading reviewer's notes in electronic files. During the tabletop review, the training specialist asks the client's reviewers to focus on two important questions:
Is the content accurate? Is the content complete?
If a specific section seems vague or unclear, the training specialist might ask a third question—how can we communicate this idea better? It's important to gather ideas that will strengthen the course materials, but the tabletop review shouldn't turn into "what if" discussions that last for hours. The tabletop review can focus very tightly on these issues because so many questions have already been asked and answered during the needs analysis and instructional design phases.
Tabletop Review Participants
The training specialist usually will ask the client's project leader and key subject matter experts to attend the tabletop review. These participants will best be able to address the questions of accuracy and completeness. Some clients may also want other internal people to attend the tabletop review. Additionally, the client may require additional internal review cycles before the course begins pilot testing.
Pilot Testing a Course
Pilot Testing with Actual Learners
In the tabletop review step, project members reviewed the course content for completeness and accuracy. Now, it's time to put the course in front of the learners and measure how they interact with the materials. In most cases, the pilot test will be the first time actual learners experience the course. The pilot test of the course takes place before the official course implementation. It provides the training specialists and the clients a final chance to review the course prior to its official launch.
The Benefits of Pilot Testing
In many ways, a course's pilot session is similar to a software beta test. Whenever you put a piece of software or a course in front of actual learners, they'll interact with it very differently than trained experts will. Experts and learners will be sensitive to different types of issues within the course. Subject matter experts can make sure that the course materials are accurate and complete, but they might not catch that a learning activity's instructions
should be worded with more clarity. People who are actually trying to learn the course material provide a very rigorous test for two reasons. They're often very willing to provide candid feedback. Additionally, at the end of the course, you can measure how well the pilot course's learners have achieved the course's learning objectives. That's why Intulogy's representation of the ADDIE model includes a twostage review process after course development. Both tabletop review and pilot testing provide important quality assurance checks, and there's really no way for one process to replace the other.
Pilot Testing Methodologies
The pilot test will be conducted differently, depending on the course's delivery format. Let's take a look at two possible examples. If the course is an e-learning course, learners may sit individually at their computers and take the course. Learners may be asked to fill out a survey after they finish the course. Then, the training specialist reviews the data and perhaps conducts follow-up interviews. However, if the course is an instructor-led course, learners and instructors may gather in a classroom while a training specialist quietly takes notes at the back of the classroom.
Issues Identified in Pilot Testing
Before the pilot test, the training specialist builds a checklist of issues. Some of these issues are standard review items, but others will be specific to the course's content and its delivery format. Here's a very brief list of some issues that the training specialist might measure during the course pilot:
• • • • • • Measure the amount of time learners need for each module and activity Check learners' engagement with the material Detect points where material may be too easy/too difficult Confirm that learners understand the instructions for activities and exercises Evaluate the flow and balance of the course Test how well learners achieve the course's stated learning objectives by the end of the course • • Validate the course assessment tools Collect feedback from learners about the course
Locate points where the course should be revised
During the course pilot, it's important to let learners interact with the course rather than try to correct things on-the-fly. When you spot something wrong, it might be tempting to jump in and "add one thing" but that can create a cascade effect throughout the course. After the course pilot, the training specialist and the client meet and decide what revisions should occur before the course launches.
ADDIE Implementation Phase
Launching the Course
The ADDIE model provides a systematic methodology to plan, develop, and test the course before it launches. If you follow the ADDIE model, you'll have a high degree of confidence about the course when it's ready to launch:
• • •
The course meets important business goals The course covers content that learners need to know The course reflects the learners existing capabilities
Additionally, you'll have reviewed the course's content for accuracy and completeness. You'll also have conducted a pilot test to ensure that learners will actually master the skills they need to achieve the course's learning objectives. It's possible for someone to write and launch a course without following the ADDIE instructional design methodology, but there's a much higher degree of risk. The course could have the wrong focus, confuse or frustrate the learners, or even lack critical content. So, if the course has been developed without planning or testing, then all you can do is hope that the course will go well.
Course Delivery Issues
There are plenty of issues to address during the ADDIE implementation phase. It's important to make sure that the course gets delivered smoothly and effectively to the learners. Of course, these delivery issues will substantially depend on the course's delivery format. Generally, the implementation phase contains a lot of project management and logistics issues. Let's take a brief look at the training delivery issues for a company that wants to offer instructor-led courses to 2,000 employees who work at sites
across the United States. During the one-day course, learners will gather in classes (ranging between eight and fifteen learners). Each learner will need to receive a course workbook and have access to an internet-ready computer. Some of the client's sites have classrooms with computers, but many sites will need to go to offsite locations for training. Here are just a few of the implementation issues that the delivery team will need to decide.
• • • • • • Establish the timetable for the course rollout Schedule the courses, enroll learners, and reserve on-site and off-site classrooms Notify learners and their supervisors about the course Select trainers and prepare them with a custom train-the-trainer Arrange for the printer to deliver course workbooks to the class site Ensure all sites will have internet-ready computers and arrange for laptops to be shipped when necessary • Manage travel and expenses for the trainers and/or learners
The rollout of a national training program often becomes a complex, choreographed activity. Usually, the planning for the delivery phase starts well before the course is ready for implementation. We'll take a look at how the ADDIE implementation phase intersects with the corporate world in our In the Workplace section. Once the course has been delivered, it's time for the final phase of the ADDIE model—the evaluation phase.
ADDIE Evaluation Phase
Evaluating the Course
The ADDIE model stresses the concept that good training programs require planning, review, and revision. Each of the five ADDIE phases provide review checkpoints that allow the training specialist and the client to evaluate the work that has been produced so far. The ADDIE evaluation phase can produce pretty graphs and metrics, but that's not its main purpose. The evaluation phase measures the course's efficacy and locates opportunities to improve learners' on-the-job performance.
When a course launches, it's not the end of the process. The ADDIE evaluation phase provides a final review checkpoint for the project. During the evaluation phase, the training specialist measures how well the project achieved its goals. Here are just some of the questions that might be explored during the evaluation phase.
• • • • Do learners like the course? Do learners achieve the learning objectives at the end of the course? Do the learners change their behaviors in the workplace? Does the course help the company achieve its business goals?
For some questions, it's fairly easy to collect information. You can find out learners' opinions of the course through a short survey immediately after the course. A pre-test and post-test can measure how well learners achieved the learning objectives. However, it takes more time and effort to measure changes in workplace behaviors and improvement towards business goals. In both cases, you can't measure these results immediately. You want to measure the long-term improvements rather than the immediate results. The evaluation phase can extend for months. Effective training helps learners make lasting changes to their workplace behaviors. The changes shouldn't just last for a few days or a few weeks, but they should remain with the learner months after the training course. A training specialist might follow-up with a sample group of learners several months after the course to see what the learners currently do. While the training specialist might identify people who need refresher training, the study's purpose is to measure the course's long-term effectiveness. If many of the learners quickly fall back into their old habits, then that's a courselevel issue that needs the training specialist's attention. Similarly, the course should produce measurable business results. During the needs analysis phase, the training specialist asked the company's leadership to identify business metrics that they want to improve through the training. Some courses may have an immediate effect on a metric that's measured daily or weekly, but many courses affect metrics that take longer to measure and detect a change. Sometimes the company has to wait an entire quarter or longer before it can measure the course's impact on its business results.
ADDIE in the Workplace
Corporate Training in the Real World
The corporate world lives by project deadlines. You probably have several projects on your desk right now, and you're already anticipating others that are on their way to you. If you want to stay current, you have to keep moving forward and meeting deadlines. Intulogy's clients often have urgent training projects. Here are just a few real examples of projects from our clients:
• "Our new software system goes live in ninety days, and we need a training course to support its implementation." • "We'll be hiring people in eight weeks, and we need to create a complete new-hire training course." • "Senior leadership has launched a priority initiative that requires us to retrain people ASAP." • "We just sold a new product to a client, and they want us to train their people in a month, but we don't have a training course."
In each of these examples, the client had a very important training project, yet the project's timeline was driven by a business need.
Applying the ADDIE Model
The ADDIE model describes an ideal-world methodology. It assumes that training specialists will have plenty of time to create a great training program. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. With an urgent training project, you have to balance quality and timeliness. The ADDIE instructional design model represents a complete instructional design workflow. It has built-in planning activities, quality assurance checkpoints, and feedback cycles. Sometimes, it's not possible to delay the training project's go-live date. Then the question becomes, "What can we do in the time that we have?"
Balance Risks and Costs
Because the ADDIE model builds each subsequent step from previous steps, skipping one step can create ripple effects throughout the entire process. While it takes more time to properly plan and execute a training project, it will substantially reduce the risk and the cost of errors. Like every business
decision, you have to weigh risks and make a choice. However, it's best to be informed and make an educated choice. If you've got a training project with a tight timeline, Intulogy's training specialists can help you assess your options and the associated risks. With that information, you'll be able to make an informed decision. In this section, Intulogy looks at the ADDIE instructional design model through a real-world corporate training perspective. While we can't cover every factor that might affect a training program's development, we've tried to present some of the common choices in each of the five ADDIE phases. We begin our exploration of ADDIE and the Workplace by looking at the Analysis phase.
ADDIE Analysis in the Workplace
Real World Choices
If your company has an immediate training need, it's tempting to skip over the training needs analysis phase and just start writing the actual training materials. You could save production time, but will you actually save money? Many companies wrestle with this question, because they want to make the right choice. In this article, Intulogy looks at the ADDIE analysis phase from a real-world perspective. We offer some insights into the general risks, benefits, and tradeoffs involved when you reduce or omit the analysis phase. We can't make this decision for you, but we can help you ask intelligent questions that can lead to the right choice for your project and your company.
The Tough Questions
If you're thinking about reducing the scope of your project's training needs analysis, here are some questions that will help you assess your level of risk:
• What might happen if our company skips over the ADDIE analysis phase and starts creating course content? • • • How will the course's quality (and results) be affected? How much development could the company save? If we discover something later on and have to fix it, will it take more time or cost more in the long run?
In many ways, your choice will be an economic one. If you choose speed over quality, you want to make sure that you're not stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.
Analysis and Quality Assurance
The ADDIE analysis phase serves as a formal planning and quality assurance process. It defines the project's objectives using the language of instructional design, and it validates that the course will meet the company's needs and the learners' needs. If you don't perform the needs analysis, you will increase the project's risk. In many ways, a training project is very similar to a software development project. If you were leading a software project, you could start the project by asking engineers to analyze the project's needs and plan the application. However, you could also start the project by asking programmers to start writing code. If the programmers write code without a plan and a clear goal, they're likely to produce a software application that doesn't quite do what it needs to do. The code may also have a lot of bugs that may not be discovered until late in the development cycle or even post-launch. In the software industry, one standard metric states that QA planning and review activities produce a 10:1 return on investment. It's less costly to prevent software bugs through planning than by fixing them line by line in the code. The same principle applies to training projects. If you can identify mistaken assumptions during the assessment phase, it'll be easier and less expensive to correct them. If you wait until the training materials have been written, it'll be more expensive to go back and make changes.
Timeliness vs. Quality
Sometimes, a company has to choose between getting the training project done (timeliness) and getting the training project right (quality). Here are some reasons that companies make their choices:
Reasons to Choose Timeliness
• The project will make only slight modifications to an existing, well-written course • The company's business needs indicate that it's better to deliver a partial training solution on
Reasons to Choose Quality
• • Course will be entirely new Business goals are unclear or have changed
time than miss the deadline • Course is a one-shot event for a very small group of learners • • The training program must achieve measurable results Course covers compliance issues or critical business processes • Course will be used for a long period of time or delivered to a large audience • An existing course will be rewritten for a new learning audience with different needs
Although some companies try to save time by skipping the needs analysis, they may not save time overall. Unanswered questions from the analysis phase can bring the design and development process to a complete halt.
Some Potential Risks
Here are some of the risks that your company would face if you reduce or omit the steps in the training needs analysis phase.
If You Skip This Step . . .
. . . Here Are Some Possible Risks
• Training specialists may not know about (or use) important information when designing the course. • Training specialists might not talk to the right subject matter experts. The course may not be written to suport the business' goals. It may be difficult to measure the course's effectiveness or results. If the course content is too easy for learners, they may become bored.
Business Goals • • Learner Analysis
If the course content is too difficult for learners, they may become frustrated.
The course may omit critical steps and information. The course may become bogged down with less-important
information. • The project omits a major QA checkpoint that allows you to review and confirm the course's objectives. Learning Objectives • Mistaken assumptions may not be caught until much later in the project. • These mistakes may be more costly to correct.
These aren't the only risks, but they are risks that companies commonly encounter. Intulogy's training specialists can advise you about the risks relevant to your specific project.
A Risk-based Scenario
Imagine that a pharmaceutical company creates a training program for newly-hired account managers. However, time is short, and the company decides not to perform a training needs analysis. The instructional designer creates the course with the assumption that the new account managers will have some previous experience in the pharamaceutical industry. The course doesn't explain important industry jargon and terms. However, the company's management chooses to hire experienced account managers who don't have experience with pharmaceuticals. When the company discovers this problem, the training specialist must redesign the training at the proper level for their learners. Although the company saved some time and money by skipping the analysis phase, they lost money because the program needed to be reworked to fit the learners' needs. Thus, the company would be under more time constraints to get the redesign done before launch. With redesigns, it doesn't take long to add up to the point where the analysis phase might have comparatively cost dimes and the redesigns and patches cost dollars.
ADDIE Design in the Workplace
Development without Design
In the ADDIE instructional design model, the training specialist first creates a comprehensive training plan and then develops the training materials. Design and development are two separate and equally important phases in
the theory. Yet, sometimes companies choose to reduce the time they devote to the design phase. In this section, we'll take a look at some of the choices that companies face during the ADDIE design phase. Let's be clear. Every fully developed course will have some form of instructional strategy and a course format. It's virtually impossible to create a course without somehow answering each of the following four questions:
• • • • How will content be grouped and sequenced? What activities and exercises will the course contain? How will the course assess learners' accomplishments? How will the course be delivered to learners?
When a project follows the ADDIE model, these choices will be made during the instructional design phase. However, if the choices aren't made during the deisgn phase, they will have to be made during course development. Hasty and unplanned decisions are still design choices, but the choices can weaken the quality of the training materials and the entire course.
Planned Design vs. "Winging It"
In some situations, a company may choose to entirely skip over the ADDIE design phase and jump straight into course development. Some companies may make this choice because their decision makers aren't aware of the ADDIE model. However, other companies make this choice because of project deadlines. They'll say, "Yes, we'd like to spend time on design, but we have to get this project written immediately." From what our training specialists have seen, omitting the design phase generally plays out in one of three ways:
A skilled instructional designer makes design choices during the course development phase. •
Does the designer accurately understand the learning objectives, business goals, and the learners' needs? • •
If everything else in the project goes smoothly, the course materials may be adequate but not ideal. If everything else doesn't go
Does the designer clearly know what materials must be included in the course? smoothly, the course's quality will be harmed. • Minimal (if any) time savings.
Does the project's leadership and champions trust and actively support the designer?
How many people will be involved in these debates?
If the team can quickly reach agreement, the delay may only be slightly longer than the design phase would have been.
The development process comes to a complete halt while the team debates design choices.
How well do they work together and communicate? •
High chance of long project delays.
Do they understand instructional design principles? •
Materials may need to be redeveloped.
Can they reach decisions quickly?
Can they reach decisions quickly?
• An unskilled or semiskilled course developer creates the course without consciously making design choices. •
• Has the developer ever created a course before? Does the developer understand adult learning and instructional design principles? • •
Development can be quick.
The course may seem unorganized, unfocused, and unclear to learners.
If the course developer creates an effective course, it will be through luck not skill.
Here's an irony. Course developers who skip over the instructional design phase are often the people who most need the structured planning the
phase offers. They don't have the formal training or experience to know how to make sound instructional design decisions. The quality of the course really depends on the skill of the instructional designer. Intulogy's training specialists haven't seen a value to skipping or reducing the instructional design process. Instead, when courses rush to development, the project team often discovers a host of issues at the end of the development process. These problems may be detected during the tabletop review—if there is even a tabletop review. We've seen courses rush to the delivery phase, and the training material's quality reflects that haste. The costs of redevelopment, from our experience, often greatly exceed the costs of the ADDIE instructional design phase. Next, we'll take a look at the choices company face during the development phase.
ADDIE Development in the Workplace
Course Development Strategies
The ADDIE development phase calls for a prototype, a tabletop review, and a pilot session. However, it's tempting to cut corners and race through the development process. We live in a world where rapid prototyping and just-intime delivery have become commonplace practices. Do training specialists really need to perform each of these training development steps? Are there any shortcuts? In this article, we look at how the workplace shapes the training development process.
Production and Quality Assurance
There are four steps in the training development process. However, only one of these steps involves content writing. The other three steps serve as review checkpoints.
Prototype Develop materials
Produce and review samples of content and layout Create all course materials
Quality assurance Content creation
Tabletop review Course pilot
Check content for completeness and accuracy Measure learner's response to the materials
Quality assurance Quality assurance
At Intulogy, we've seen some companies complete each of these steps thoughtfully and carefully. However, we've also seen companies that want to omit one or even all three quality assurance steps during the development phase.
Choices That Companies Make
Why would some companies skip these quality assurance steps during the course development proecss? It seems risky to launch an untested course. Learners may encounter inaccurate, incomplete, or even confusing learning materials. We've generally seen four reasons that a company's course developers and project leaders make this choice:
• Don't know about the ADDIE methodology •
Course developers can become so focused on writing course content that they don't think about quality assurance. Team members may not know how to check the course materials' quality.
Don't see the value of quality assurance Have a tight timeline
People won't include sufficient time for quality assurance activities in the project schedule.
People may treat quality assurance steps as desirable but impractical choices for this project.
Have a limited project budget
Project may face a strong temptation to reduce the scope of the prototype and course pilot steps.
A very skilled developer can possibly take informed shortcuts and still create a good course.
Have confidence in the course developer's skills
Increased risk when the course is launched, because QA steps have been omitted.
If the course developer makes a misstep, the launch may be especially bumpy.
Many project leaders trust their course developers to make the right choices. However, it's important to remember that many training projects are led and created by people who are not familiar with the ADDIE training methodology. After all, not every training project includes a training specialist. These project members have to figure out how to create a course that meets their needs. There's a huge irony here. The course developers who are unaware of the ADDIE methodology are also the people who could generally benefit the most from these quality assurance steps.
Why Experience Matters
An experienced training specialist draws on lessons they've learned from past projects.
• When they build a prototype, they can draw upon past prototypes. They don't have to reinvent the wheel. • When they conduct a tabletop review, they flag specific areas for special attention and prepare questions for the subject matter experts (SMEs). • When they pilot a course, they make a list of issues that they want to test.
An experienced training specialist knows how to maximize the value of each quality assurance task. They also know how to minimize the time spent on peripheral and less-important issues. For example, a great training specialist can lead a tabletop review with all the elegance and grace of an orchestra's conductor guiding musicians through a particularly difficult section in a performance. Sometimes, Intulogy's training specialists must explain both the ADDIE development phase and its value. We've found that these quality assurance steps will generally produce more accurate materials, save time, and reduce production costs. However, our training specialists serve as advisors to our clients, and it's the clients who guide our production choices. If the project has a tight timeline or a limited project budget, then our training specialists can advise the client how to make the most of their time and dollars.
ADDIE Implementation in the Workplace
Implementation Makes the Difference
When companies launch a course, they enter the ADDIE implementation phase. During this phase, the companies must successfully deliver their courses to their learners. Each course represents a significant investment of corporate resources and time. It's very important for the course to make a significant and meaningful impact on the learners. On the strategic level, companies rely on training programs to reduce costs and improve profitability by improving people's performance in many different ways:
• • • • • Increase sales and customer satisfaction Improve efficiency and productivity Ensure legal compliance and reduce liability Guide people through new and changed processes Introduce new people to the company's methods and culture
Companies that want to achieve these goals need well-written training programs that are launched successfully. However, it's important to remember that great course content doesn't guarantee a successful launch. In this section, we'll assume that the company has done its homework and created an excellent training course. Instead, we'll focus on the challenges that companies face during the ADDIE implementation phase.
How Scope Impacts Training Delivery
When companies deliver training programs, they often involve hundreds and perhaps even thousands of learners. Even a small course can involve dozens of people. Some of the biggest challenges during the ADDIE implementation phase fall into the categories of training administration and logistics. Some companies have very skilled in-house training departments. These people know how to coordinate and deliver training programs to thousands of people across the world within a short time frame. However, other companies don't have this depth of training delivery experience and a nationwide course rollout can become quite a challenge. If you've followed the ADDIE model, you've conducted a course pilot session. Perhaps some learners gathered together in a classroom or tested out the online learning course. You've asked a sample group of learners to help you review the course. However, there's a lot of work to ramp up from this single session to a full nationwide or global course delivery.
In many ways, the training delivery phase must recognize the powerful impact of Murphy's Law—if anything can go wrong, it will. It's extremely important to carefully plan the training delivery process. Let's look at some of the factors that companies must consider when preparing to launch classroom and e-learning courses.
Launching a Classroom Course
Here's a list of some of the questions that people have to answer when they start a large-scale training delivery project. This list is not comprehensive, but it gives a good overview highlighting why training delivery often requires active project management.
Course Delivery Aspect
• • Course Materials • • •
Some Key Questions
How many copies of the course materials need to be printed? Will course materials be printed in-house or outsourced to a printer? How will course materials be shipped? Who will be responsible for shipping? How many trainers will be needed for the project? Will the trainers come from an in-house team or from an outsource provider? Will the project require the trainers to travel? Should the trainers be geographically-based? How will the instructors learn to teach this course? Will the project require a train-the-trainer session? When and how will trainers receive their schedule? Who will be the SME to answer trainer questions? Who will be the technical contact for trainers? What locations will courses be offered? What dates and times will the course be offered? How will this schedule be communicated?
• • Instructors • • • • •
• Classroom Space • • • • Registration • • • • Travel • • • • Logisitics • •
Will the classroom require any specific technology—computers, AV projectors, etc.? Will learning happen on-site or off-site? How will learners be enrolled for the course? Will they enroll themselves or will someone enroll them? How will course rosters be tracked? How will rosters be communicated to instructors? How will instructors record attendance and test scores? Will this course be entered into a learning management system? If people need to travel, who will book it? How will travel and expenses be coordinated? Will travel come from the overall project budget or a separate budget? Who will manage training administration? Who will manage training logistics? How will course statistics be tracked? Who will be responsible for collecting and communicating these statistics?
Many of these questions have to be answered well before the implementation phase begins. If a company starts a large scale delivery project without answering these questions, the project can quickly turn into disorganized chaos.
Launching an E-learning Course
An e-learning course oftern requires significant systems integration tasks. Here are some sample issues for an e-learning course that will be delivered online to learners.
Course Delivery Aspect
Hosting • •
Some Key Questions
Where will the course be hosted? How much storage space will be required for the e-learning files?
• • • •
How many learners will need to access the course total? How many learners will access the course at any time? How much bandwidth will be needed (peak use and monthly)? Will this course need to integrate with an existing learning management system (LMS)?
• • • •
Will the LMS track course enrollment and course completion data? Will this course output test scores and other data to an LMS? Is this course SCORM and AICC compliant? How will learners enroll for the course? Will learners be able to access the course through the web or will they need to connect to an intranet?
• Learners' Connections •
Will any users connect to the course via dial-up? Will any users connect to the course via a VPN? Can the course recognize the learner's connection speed and optimize course delivery?
Learners' Computers Security
• • • •
Will learners have all necessary applications loaded onto their computers? Will learners need to download any applications or plug-ins? Who will be responsible for security issues related to the course files? Who will help learners who have difficulties accessing the online course? Who will answer technical questions? Who will answer content questions? How will learners be enrolled for the course? Will they enroll themselves or will someone enroll them? How will course rosters be tracked? Who will manage training administration? Who will manage training logistics? How will course statistics be tracked? Who will be responsible for collecting and communicating these statistics?
• • •
• • • •
There are many ways that an e-learning course can implode during the delivery process. An online course can be so popular that the hosting site crashes when everyone tries to access it at the same time. The course might not integrate properly with the company's learning management system. The file might have a broken link so learners receive the dreaded "file not found" error. These technical issues often require the training project's team to coordinate with the company's IT department, but the collaboration can mean the difference between a rough and a smooth launch.
ADDIE Evaluation in the Workplace
Evaluating a Course's Success
The ADDIE evaluation phase helps companies measure the course's impact on their learners and their business. When a company creates a custom course, it makes a substantial investment in time and resources. However, perhaps surprisingly, many companies do not invest in the evaluation phase. These companies never really know how well the course works. If we had to make an estimate, we'd say that only ten or fifteen percent of companies conduct significant evaluation activities. That's why we consider evaluation the "forgotten phase" of the ADDIE model. Many companies seem to skip over the evaluation phase because they're thinking tactically instead of strategically. Sometimes companies become focused on the go-live date; they want to make sure that the learners experience the course. Once the course has launched, people shift their focus to the next training project. Instead of measuring learning and its impact on the business, some companies will let the course run until it becomes obsolete and an obvious source of pain.
Types of Evaluation
In 1959, Donald Kirkpatrick identified four levels of training evaluation:
1. Response—Do learners like the course? 2. Learning—Do learners actually learn the material? 3. Behavior—Do learners change their workplace behaviors? 4. Results—Does the course acheive the company's business goals?
In the corporate world, companies measure response through quick postcourse surveys (often called "smile sheets"). These surveys often ask learners to answer simple, subjective questions about the course. Because these surveys are easy to conduct, many companies use them. However, these surveys can't measure complex learning or long-term behavior changes. Some companies use post-course assessments to measure how much people have learned before they return to the workplace. We'd like to think that these post-course assessments are part of every course, but we've seen a lot of training courses that just present material without ensuring that learners have understood it. In the corporate world, courses with rigorous post-course tests are often called certification courses. Learners need to pass the certification test before they can be qualified to perform certain tasks or jobs. In order to measure behavior changes and business results, training specialists have to wait until learners return to the workplace. Sometimes, these studies take place months after the learners complete the course. That way, training specialists can measure what behaviors actually retained in the workplace.
The Costs of Evaluation
In most cases, a robust evaluation phase doesn't add much additional cost to the training project. Sometimes the entire evaluation phase can be conducted for less than five percent of the total project's budget. The other cost associated with the evaluation phase is time. To properly conduct an evaluation, training specialists will need to dedicate some time immediately after the course launches to measure how people respond to the course and what they learn. Then, a few months later, they will need to measure whether the course has actually led to long-term behavior changes. Intulogy's training specialists have observed two patterns when it comes to the training evaluation phase:
• Companies that clearly identify business goals during the needs analysis phase are more likely to conduct a rigorous evaluation phase—the company wants to measure (and improve) its degree of success.
Companies that follow the ADDIE model carefully tend to see substantially better results for their training courses than companies that adopt a hit-and-miss approach to training development and delivery.
Sometimes companies have to rush training projects to meet an immediate need, but when they can integrate training initiatives with their strategic business objectives they experience a greater degree of success. That's why the ADDIE of instructional design exists, afterall.
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