Great Aunt ADDIE

When I started my job as an instructional designer, last year.  I thought I knew what I was doing.  Heck, I had been teaching for over 11 years!  And while I had many of the skills and tools for content design, I realized there was a process to instructional design that I needed to learn.

This process is called ADDIE. It sounds like a great aunt’s name, but is obviously an acronym. It describes the steps most instructional designers take on their way to creating training.

  • Analyze
  • Design
  • Development
  • Implement
  • Evaluate

Analyze (your learners). This is the starting point. My job is to teach people. So I need to find out the answers to many questions, from my learner’s point of view.  Who are they? What is their motivation to learn? What do they already know? What d0 they need to know?

Design (your plan). This is the plan. Now that I know my learners, I need to determine the content, the processes, and the method to create the learning. What content do my learners need? Do I need a Subject Matter Expert (SME-so that’s what it means)? How are you going to deliver your training? What techniques will you use to teach? What Instructional Design model(s) will be best to teach your content?

Develop (your class). If you build it…will they come? This is the actual work of creating the class documents, presentations, activities so that you can run the class. What tools do I use? What do I need to create? Do I need pictures? Do I need videos? How do I address learners with disabilities? How do I accommodate different learning styles?

Implement (your training). This is the delivery of the class. The day to day planning. How do I run this class that I have created? There are many things to consider. Who will be teaching the class? Will the class be live, virtual, purely e-learning, or blended? How many days, weeks or months will it last? Will there be multiple sessions?

Evaluate (your project). This is the feed back you receive and how you use the feedback. Does your feedback include feelings about the training experience? Are you concerned with exam performance? Will you have a beta test before you run your course for ‘real’? If so, what feedback will you request?

Aunt ADDIE was a great help in my first steps into Instructional Design. I have since expanded my horizons. There are many processes and models for planning instruction. You may hear of processes; like rapid prototyping, Agile or SCRUM. You may learn about great instructional design models like 4c-ID, ARCS or Goal based scenarios.  They all have their place and you should learn about the wide world of instructional design, it will make you a better designer.   However, we should all give a nod to Aunt ADDIE and the design process that is simple, easy to understand and so widely used, it is as familiar as apple pie.


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