ADDIE…not just a name for a dog

Meet Addie.

addie blog 1 image edu 623

ADDIE is a great name for a dog, but it is also a great name for an Instructional Design Model. The instructional design model is actually an acronym. ADDIE stands for: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. But what is ISD? “Teaching and learning are ingrained behaviors, and instructional design at its core is simply a more efficient way to pass knowledge” (Hodell, p. 12). That being said, ISD comes in many shapes and sizes.

The ADDIE model is a universal model and most other ISD models utilize the five elements that make up the core of ADDIE. The best part is that the ADDIE model can help develop effective learning systems across all types of environments like education, business and military. So how to all of the ADDIE elements work, and come together?

The first part of the ADDIE model is Analysis. This is the data-gathering portion of the model, or the input element. The designers of the module collect an assortment of information to help them accurately inform all other elements. The data collected here ranges from potential challenges, problems, content, materials, instructors, students, etc. Based on this information, the designers can determine if a module is the solution, and what steps will need to be taken next to develop a module.

The second phase of ADDIE is Design. Designers get down to the nitty-gritty details of the module. They draw up blueprints that establish the best system for delivery of content based on the necessary requirements which were concluded from the analysis. In this phase the designers develop a rationale, objectives, module description, evaluations, etc. This acts as the skeleton for which all content is based off of, in the next stage.

The third phase in ADDIE is Development. One might argue that this is the longest stage of the model, maybe aside from the actual implementation (which all depends on the planned duration). All of the content, the learning environment, instructions, etc. is all drafted and put into place. Once that part is completed, it doesn’t move onto the implementation, it moves onto the test drive. It’s just like anything else, you test things out before you make them official. You wouldn’t marry Joe Schmoe right off the street before you dated him for a bit. The designers date the newly developed module, get to know is assets and pitfalls, and try to improve them. Depending on the designers, learning population and content, the dating process can be short or long.

The fourth part in ADDIE is Implementation. By now, the learner population is engaged in the actual module. The module becomes active. During this time the instructor is assigning and evaluating formative and summative assignments to determine the success of the module, and actively modifying instructional approaches. This information is evaluated based on reaction, learning and behavior.

The fifth part of the ADDIE model is Evaluation. While this is last in the acronym, it is really an umbrella term, which actively occurs within all of the other elements. Evaluation is a continuous process, which is necessary to make the module successful. If we jump back to the dating scenario of Joe Schmoe, both people are constantly evaluating interactions, conversations, and any other part of the relationship. Evaluation provides both qualitative and quantitative information, both of which are essential to all parts of the model.

The five elements of the ADDIE model provide a sound basis for other models to use. Some of the other models reconfigure, add in, take out parts of the ADDIE model, but at their core, lie the same elements. “As an instructional designer gains experience, the ISD elements combine in a way that works uniquely for him or her. Derivations of any model are necessary to meet different design strategies. Different designers write objectives differently, and no two surveys ever look exactly the same. Every designer eventually evolves to create a unique model of ISD based on their same fundamental ADDIE structure. It is not uncommon in some ISD models to see an additional level of analysis or evaluation or another element added to meet a specific design or organizational need” (Hodell, p. 29).

I think as teachers we naturally utilize an ADDIE model in our classrooms, having a better understanding of how each component works, and how they work with each other will helps us to elevate the individual learning experience for our students. Stay tuned to find out more about how ADDIE works, and see what modules I develop.

In the meantime, check out this series of videos that explains ADDIE in a simple way…

Analysis Video:

Design Video:

Development Video:

Implementation Video:

Evaluation Video:



Hodell, C. (2011). ISD From the Ground Up (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.


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