ATD Blog

Happy Anniversary to Leaving ADDIE for SAM!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What a year! This time last year, we were putting the final touches of our first book with ASTD Press: Leaving ADDIE for SAM. We were planning webinars and other promotional events. Even though I had frequently shared my work on the Successive Approximation Model (SAM) in papers and presentations, I was very excited about this book. The benefits we experience over any form of ADDIE I’ve ever tried are nothing short of remarkable.

I couldn’t be happier with all of the comments, debates, and discussions that have come from the book’s release. So many people have approached me at conferences, written emails, and posted descriptions in their blogs about the positive impact that SAM has had on their work. It has been—and continues to be—a great reward to hear these stories.

While this is the one-year anniversary of Leaving ADDIE for SAM, SAM is actually much older. I have been building and promoting this process for more than three decades. My studios continue to employ SAM in our work with clients, and the process is under constant testing and review. Just as no course design is ever perfect, neither is any process. But the basis of the model is robust, and it’s successful application in a wide variety of projects attests to its validity.

Leaving ADDIE for SAM has given us a great opportunity to have an industry-wide discussion about the role of process in instructional design, and to make sure we are moving forward and consistently trying to improve. Indeed, sharing best practices is vital to our success in meeting the challenges we face on so many fronts.


What’s next for SAM?


In response to all the requests, I’m excited to announce that we are in the final steps of completing the Leaving ADDIE for SAM Field Guide. The guide will provide many useful tools for implementing successive approximations within typical constraints and adds practical, hands-on strategies for being successful with SAM.

Thanks to the amazing reception SAM has received from the industry. I hope this work leads to an impressive spike in ROI, learner satisfaction, and performance improvement. So, here’s to a remarkable first year for the book—and to the year we have ahead!

Cross-posted on the Allen Interactions blog.

About the Author

Michael W. Allen is chairman and CEO of Allen Interactions, whose studios build universally acclaimed custom e-learning, provide strategic learning consulting, and train e-learning professionals in collaboration with ASTD. With a PhD in educational psychology from The Ohio State University, Dr. Allen has pioneered multimedia learning technologies, interactive instructional paradigms, and rapid-prototyping processes, bringing each forward into leading corporate enterprises. He is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, a popular conference speaker, and a prolific writer. In May 2011, he received ASTD's Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award. In May 2012, Allen was selected by The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) Advisory Committee as a recipient of the 2012 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Through a proven process and skills born from experience, Allen Interactions delivers exciting interactive solutions that enhance knowledge, skills, and performance. It is one of the most successful and highly regarded providers of custom e-learning, training, and consulting, with studios in Minneapolis, Tampa, and San Francisco.

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