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This may not be the ADDIE you know

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2019

If you are learning professional and have developed any kind of learning content, chances are you know of the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation framework known as ADDIE. The big question is: Do you really know ADDIE? Most people would answer with a resounding "Yes!" and call it "the instructional design model" to follow. However, ADDIE is not an instructional design model; it's not a model at all. According to Professor Dr. Robert Branch, "ADDIE is a conceptual approach by which Instructional Systems Design (ISD) models can be derived." (Off-the-Cuff vlog Episode 15 https://youtu.be/DfQvTMxTDds ). I was lucky enough to interview Dr. Branch for the ATD Central Florida Chapter (ATDCFL) Off-the-Cuff weekly vlog and we discussed the origins of ADDIE and its roots in ISD.

The Molenda research

In 2002, Professor Michael Molenda, wrote an article titled "In Search of the Elusive ADDIE Model" where he interviewed several colleagues in various academic institutions and none of them could confirm or claim who is the creator of ADDIE or that it is an ISD model. When I read this, I was both challenged in my beliefs because my M.A. in Education had partly failed me. To be honest, I felt betrayed but, I always had a suspicion that ADDIE as a model was too good to be true. It's great as a procedural guidance on what should be looked at while developing instruction but, that's it.

ADDIE goes to bootcamp

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If there's a reason why ADDIE exists, is no other than its biggest customer: The US military. ADDIE used to be known as ADDIC which is a framework essential to the Interservice Procedures for Instructional Systems Development (IPISD). The only difference between ADDIE and ADDIC is the last stage wich was originally named "Control", however most of its structures mirror the Evaluation stage in ADDIE. However, keep in mind that the IPISD was an effort to standardize the way instructional programs are developed for all branches of the armed forces and that approach never works. I just know that by being a US Navy veteran. Eventually each military branch develop its own flavor of ISD methodology using ADDIE as a conceptual framework. You can find this by Googling "Tradoc ADDIE".

Stop talking ADDIE, think ISD!

Let's face it! Without the notion and backing of ISD, ADDIE is just an acronym to make us feel good about what we do. Moving forward, I suggest using ADDIE to explain the overall process and project charter to your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). When it comes to finding the right ISD model to provide organizational learning solutions, do the following:

  1. Subscribe to ATDCFL Off-the-Cuff YouTube vlog
  2. Find an ATD Educational program or a graduate alternative
  3. Read about David Merrill, Gustafson & Branch, Dick, Carey & Carey's work
  4. Realize that one ISD model cannot serve all instructional purposes
  5. Contact me and let's chat ;  )

 

 

About the Author

Alex is a CPLP and multimedia elearning developer with 12+ years of experience developing immersive learning experiences. He's a very active blogger and contributor to Articulate's Elearning Heroes Community, Udemy.com instructor, as well as winner of E-Learning Magazine's Learning Champion 2017 award for learning innovation. He has written several articles on virtual reality, augmented reality and workplace learning insights published at ATD's Tech Blog, and recognized industry publications like TD Magazine,  Learning Solutions and Training Industry magazines. He's also known for his expertise in learning management systems, digital badging-blockchain strategies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for workplace learning. Alex is a board member for the ATD Central Florida Chapter currently serving as President.

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