The ADDIE Model – Why Use It?

If you are new to training development and have been thinking about putting together any type of training program, it is important to know and understand the most basic training tool used by professional trainers; it is called the ADDIE model.

Basically, the ADDIE model is a general, systematic, step-by-step framework used by instructional designers, developers, and trainers to ensure that course development and learning does not occur in a haphazard, unstructured manner. It aims to ensure the following:

(1) the learners achieve the objectives of the course,

(2) enables the assessment of learners’ needs,

(3) the design and development of training materials and

(4) Evaluating the effectiveness of the training program using processes with specific, measurable outcomes.


ADDIE emerged with the development of the post-WWII Cold War, as the US military struggled with itself to find a way to create more effective training programs for increasingly complex subjects. The result of this struggle for greater effectiveness bore fruit in the form of Instructional Systems Design, which in turn led to the design models used today. You will often hear ADDIE referred to as Instructional Systems Design (ISD), Instructional Systems Design & Development (ISDD), Systems Approach to Training (SAT), or Instructional Design (ID). Most of the current instructional design models found in the workplace today are variations or offshoots of the original ADDIE model.

The model

The ADDIE literature estimates that there are well over 100 different ISD variations in use today, almost all of which are based on the generic ADDIE model, which stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation; with each step or phase leading to the next as shown below:

Analysis ‘ Design ‘ Development ‘ Implementation ‘ Evaluation

A widely accepted improvement on the ADDIE model that almost everyone uses, consciously or unconsciously, is the use of what is called rapid prototyping, which attempts to catch design flaws while they are still easily fixable. This is done by receiving continuous feedback at all stages of the ADDIE model and making changes as it progresses.

During the analysis phase we define and develop a clear understanding of the needs, limitations, existing knowledge, skills and desired outcome of the training we can. The design phase attempts to identify specific learning objectives, topic content, presentation methods and media, learning exercises, and assessment criteria to be used. The development phase creates and begins with the production of the learning materials to be used in the training. Implementation delivers the material by actually presenting and/or communicating the developed plan to the intended learning group or audience. After delivery, the evaluation phase evaluates the effectiveness of the topic content and training materials used in the training program and makes improvement changes for the next implementation or presentation. Let’s look at each phase individually.

The phases

The analysis phase is the most important phase in the ADDIE model. It identifies areas that require or require training, taking into account the views of subject matter experts, the target audience and the ultimate goals and objectives of the training.

During this phase we define and develop as clear an understanding as possible of the needs and limitations of the audience, existing knowledge, skills and desired outcome of the training. Here we identify the learning problem, set the goals, objectives and other relevant characteristics of the desired training, considering the learning environment, the available delivery options and the timeline for the project.

Here are some areas that should be addressed during the analysis phase:

o Who is the target group? What is the minimum/maximum current knowledge of the participating audience? What are their characteristics? What are their special needs?

o What knowledge and competence deficits currently exist?

o What tasks are currently being performed by the target group and what new skills are required after the training?

o What delivery options and methods are available to transfer the new skills to the workplace?

o What is the teaching setting? B. classroom, workplace, self-study, etc.?

o How do these skills connect to the intended audience?

o What is the timeline for project completion?

o What are the program restrictions? Technology, timing and duration.

o What will it cost to provide the training?

o Create key performance indicators for the tasks to be trained.

The design phase is the systematic process of researching, planning, identifying, and specifying the complete design of course objectives, lesson planning, topic content, training methodology, media, learning exercises, courseware content, and assessment criteria. Typically, detailed prototypes are developed at this point and the look, feel, design and content are determined.

At this stage, the following should be considered:

o The entry criteria or level of knowledge that the learner must demonstrate prior to the training.

o Develop learning objectives for each task to be covered.

o Identify, structure and rank the learning steps required to complete the task from easiest to most difficult.

o Approximately determine how long it will take to deliver the program based on the time allotted for the training, taking into account the pace of the instructor, the course format, and the manner of delivery, and adjust the content and format accordingly.

o Development of participant assessments, program assessment methods, data collection methods and reporting formats used to determine mastery of the tasks to be delivered

o Where possible, conduct mini knowledge presentations to confirm that the program meets the stated learning requirements.

o Review of implementation and evaluation costs, required effort and schedule.

The development phase is the actual production and assembly of the materials developed in the design phase. It is important at this point to include who is responsible for which items, schedules and deadlines. In this phase all audio, video and course materials are collected, prepared, created and ready for testing.

At this stage, the following must be considered:

o List activities that will help the target group learn the task.

o Select the most appropriate delivery method for the learning group.

o Developing and producing program materials, tools and teaching materials.

o Combine the course materials into a presentation with smooth transitions.

o Validate the material and presentation to ensure they meet all objectives and targets.

o Development of trainer guides, learning guides, job aids and resources for participants as needed.

o Prepare coaches and mentors to support you in the training.

o Book venue, accommodation and travel arrangements.

o Schedule participants.

In the implementation phase, the developed course is actually implemented and the final product, developed on the basis of needs and bugs discovered during testing with a prototype product, is presented to the target audience.

Depending on the size of the audience and the amount of time and resources allotted to this endeavor, the following considerations should be made the day before or the morning of presentation day.

o Setting up and preparing the venue.

o The learning environment, ie the room, is set up and prepared before the learners arrive.

o Student registration area to be set up with registration materials, instruction books etc. if required.

o Practical equipment, computers, tools, software, etc. are available at each station or seat. If you are using a learning application, external link, website or internet connection, make sure it is active and functional.

o Conduct training.

After delivery, the evaluation phase incorporates learner feedback in a systemic process. The feedback gathered during this phase measures response, identifies what is working and what is not working, determines the effectiveness and quality of delivery, and is used to fine-tune the program. It validates whether the course has met its objectives and the effectiveness of the training materials used. It finds out if the learning went as planned, and it can also uncover any obstacles that may have arisen, and then revise, adjust and correct as needed to ensure the success of the next presentation.

After the presentation, use a well-designed questionnaire, evaluation, and/or survey that provides anonymous feedback if the participant requests it. Some or all of the following should be included in the assessment:

o Was the information and/or messages presented clear and understandable?

o Were the examples, illustrations and demonstrations useful?

o Was the information presented personally relevant to the learner?

o Was the lesson interesting and above all motivating?

o How did the instruction affect the learner? If yes, how? If not why.

o What should be done differently?

o What was most important to the learner from the material presented? What was least important?

o What would the learner change, modify or adapt?

At the end of the program, collect the evaluations, review the program data, prepare and report the performance results. In reviewing program data, the report should include, but is not limited to, the number of participating learners trained, the percentage of participants who passed the course, and their satisfaction with the material presented and the manner in which it was presented limited.

An honest evaluation of the program results at this point will provide a wealth of information that can be used to perfect and ensure the success of any future presentations. Use this information positively and you will be rewarded with an excellent result!

Note: The information for this article was gathered from a number of sources on the web by searching the ADDIE criteria.

Copyright © 2007 Chuck Castagnolo All rights reserved.

Thanks to Chuck Castagnolo

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