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 and provide a roadmap for the entire training project.

Designed by Florence Beraud - January 2009

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Designed by Florence Beraud - January 2009

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1. ANALYSIS: The First Steps towards 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

The Value of a Needs Analysis
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.

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Questions that Drive the Analysis
When you start your project with a training needs analysis, you collect critical information about organisation’s 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 organisations’ 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.

2. 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.

Creating 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 (also called the entry profile by carrying a learner analysis).

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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 type of training methodologies be used? How should the course evaluate 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.

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3. A Successful Training Development
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.

Steps in Training Development
The following steps are the most commonly taken while developing training projects:

• • •

Create a prototype: A training prototype provides a preview. It shows what the final course will look like when it is complete. Develop the course materials Conduct a tabletop review: 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.

Run a pilot session: 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

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4. Launching the Course: the Implementation Phase
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 organisations goals The course covers content that learners need to know The course reflects the learners existing capabilities

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.

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5. Evaluating the Course
Evaluation Questions
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 course-level 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 organisation’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.

Adapted from Intulogy training material

Designed by Florence Beraud - January 2009

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