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Fundamentals to Instructional Design: The ADDIE Model

Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Updated: Thursday, July 09, 2020

Instructional Systems

From the perspective of an instructional designer, any undertaking that includes a

learner and the subject matter necessary to learn requires an instructional system.

Instructional designers need inputs (subject matter and resources), a process (ISD),

and outputs (curriculum and materials) to build a training course. This combination

of elements is called an instructional system.



The ADDIE model or some derivative of it provides designers with the necessary

structure for designing any curriculum, regardless of the instructional methods

employed. Anything from classroom lecture to distance learning starts and ends

with the same fundamentals—the ADDIE model.


In the ADDIE model, analysis is the input for the system; design, development,

and evaluation are the processes; and implementation is the output. These elements

overlap somewhat, depending on the project, and because the system is dynamic,

there will be some sharing of duties. This book examines in depth each of the five elements

of the ADDIE model, which are described briefly in the following sections.



Analysis is the data-gathering element of instructional design. Here, instructional

designers assemble all the information they can possibly gather about the project

before they consider anything else. Decisions about every aspect of the project


must eventually be made. The information that instructional designers gather at

this stage will be put to use throughout the system, so it is necessary that they have

every scrap of data to ensure the design will be successful.



Design is the blueprinting stage of instructional systems during which instructional

designers create the blueprint for a project with all the specifications necessary to

complete the project. During this stage, instructional designers write the objectives,

construct course content, and complete the design plan.



Materials production and pilot testing are the hallmarks of development. At this

stage, most nondesigners begin to see progress. Everything from lecture notes to

virtual reality is brought from design to deliverable.

Before instructional designers move from development to implementation, it is

wise for them to do pilot testing to ensure that deliverables do not have to be redeveloped.

Because of the time and expense involved, no one wants to reprint manuals or

recode a technology-based project after a project goes into implementation. The pilot

testing process allows organizations to implement any necessary changes in the project

before the expenses associated with materials development are realized. The time and

effort expended in pilot testing are well worth the effort, for this reason alone. Pilot testing

also helps designers feel confident that what they have designed works.



The most familiar of the elements is implementation. At implementation, the design

plan meets the learner, and the content is delivered. The evaluation process that

most designers and learners are familiar with takes place in this element. Evaluation

is used to gauge the degree to which learners meet objectives and facilitators or technologies.



Evaluation doesn’t deserve to be listed last in the ADDIE model because it takes

place in every element and surrounds the instructional design process. Evaluation

is a constant guard at the gate of failure.


The advantages of using an instructional system are numerous, the most

important being the ability to design projects quickly and efficiently. Nothing is

left to chance or ignored when a designer stays within the framework of the ADDIE

or other ISD models. One possible disadvantage is the necessity of a designer to be

familiar with the ISD process.


Source: ISD From the Ground Up, 4th Edition

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