Tuesday, August 5, 2008

ADDIE - The most popular ISD

ADDIE is a popular instructional systems design (ISD). I say popular because it is the most discussed about methodology and also several organization still follow this methodology (with small modifications). I thought I must quickly capture what ADDIE is all about. So, here goes...

ADDIE model was designed to solve training problems. It was first established by the department of defense. It became popular after World War II.

Analysis phase is typically the first phase in the e-learning lifecycle. It involves analyzing the business goals, content for the course, and the learner’s prior skills. Analysis phase checks the quality of your course. It guides the designer while creating learning objectives. This phase involves the identification of the people and the deliverables for each of the phases. The areas addressed in this phase are:
  • Goals and objectives of this course
  • Learners and their prior knowledge
  • Training gaps
  • Available resources
Design Phase includes three steps:
  1. Planning a design strategy
  2. Selecting a format for the course
  3. Creating a design document
The planning team, such as the manager and Instruction designer (ID), develops the project plan that guides each of the e-learning teams in the various phases of their activity. The output for this phase is the e-learning project plan and the design document. This plan provides guidance during the various stages of the e-learning process. The areas addressed in this phase are:
  • Organization of content
  • Presentation of ideas to learners
  • Delivery format
  • Types of activities/exercises

Development phase involves the actual creation of course or storyboarding. Information collected in the analysis and design phase is used to create the course. The design document plays a crucial role when the course is being storyboarded. A prototype is created to check for efficiency. Based on efficiency of the prototype, the course material is developed. When the first draft is complete, the course undergoes several review cycles to ensure accuracy of content. Typically, a pilot session is conducted on a few learners to test the efficacy of the course. The activities that are covered in this phase include:

  • Develop instructions
  • Create a prototype
  • Develop the course material
  • Conduct a review
  • Run a pilot session
Implementation phase indicates the completion of course creation. The course is launched into the market based on the mode of delivery (CDs, web, PDA, etc.) decided by the planning team. The learners take the course. Learners and instructors are notified about the launch of the course. The activities that are covered in this phase include:
  • Schedule the courses, enroll learners, and reserve on-site and off-site classrooms
  • Notify learners and their supervisors about the course
Evaluation phase of e-learning tests the efficacy of the course. It judges/evaluates whether the course was successful and whether it helped the learners reach their end goal. The Evaluation specialist carries out the evaluation along with the instruction designer and the interface designer. Based on the feedback from the student assessment and instructors, the e-learning course material can be revised. The questions that are answered during this phase are:
  • Do learners like the course?
  • Did learners achieve the learning objectives at the end of the course?
  • Did the course help the company achieve its business goals?
  • Did your course bring about the desired behavioral change?

Many e-learning organizations have their e-learning life cycle that best suits them. ADDIE is the most popular approach. Many suggest that ADDIE is time consuming and very systematic. The focus invariably moves away from the learner. Some suggest that ADDIE involves many rounds of rework and documentation and creativity suffers.

Successive approximation is another alternative suggested by Michael Allen. This process involves creating a functional prototype that would be tested on typical learners. It is known to be an iterative process that involves less rework.

At Kern, we have our own DLC that is learner-centered. This process has been carefully designed to ensure that the DLC is iterative. At every phase, checks and value additions happen. It works well for us as every Kernite believes in this methodology.

1 comment:

Boyd said...


The most rigorous part of the dissertation includes the

Methods Section
Study Design
Research questions and hypothesis formulation
Development of instrumentation
Describing the independent and dependent variables
Writing the data analysis plan
Performing a Power Analysis to justify the sample size and writing about it

Results Section
Performing the Data Analysis
Understanding the analysis results
Reporting the results.
When you enter this phase of the program, you are nearing the end of the journey. Given the difficulty of this phase, one often wishes they had previewed what was to come.
Many Ph.D candidates seem to hit a brick wall and feel disarmed when called upon to work on the methods and results section of their dissertation.
This is the point where many students diligently search for help calling on their advisor, peers, university assistance and even Google.
This is also the time when the student asks themselves the question" HOW MUCH HELP IS TOO MUCH".
Surely no one will deny that having your dissertation written for you is very wrong.

On the other hand, it is not unusual for doctoral students to get help on specific aspects of their dissertation.(e.g. APA formatting and editing) It also is not unusual for advisors to encourage students to seek outside help.

If you are a distance learning student it is almost essential you seek outside assistance for the methods and results section of your dissertation. The very nature of distance learning suggest the need for not only outside help but help from someone gifted in explaining highly technical concepts in understandable language by telephone and e-mail.

Distance learning, and the availability of programs, has increased exponentially over the last few years with some of the most respected institutions (Columbia University, Engineering; Boston University and others) offering a Ph.D in a variety of fields. If you are enrolled in a distance learning program, or considering one, you will be interested in reviewing the reference sites listed at the bottom of this page.

As stated above, many students hit their dissertation "brick wall" when they encounter the statistics section. Frequently, a student will struggle for months with that section before they seek a consultant to help them. This often leads to additional tuition costs and missed graduation dates.

If I were to name a single reason why a PhD candidate gets off track in their program it is the statistics and their fear of statistics.

So, the question is whether or not it is ethical to get help at all. If so, how much help is too much.

I don't know if there has ever been a survey of dissertation committee members who were asked this question, however, I know many advisors take the following position when they suggest or approve outside help:

To a large extent the process is self controlling. If the student relies too much on a consultant, the product may look good, however, the student will be unable to defend his/her dissertation.

It takes a committed effort on the part of the student and the consultant (resulting in a collaborative/teaching exchange) to have the student responsible for the data and thoroughly understand the statistics. The day the student walks in front of the committee to defend, there should be no question as to his/her understanding of statistics.

When their defense is successful, the question of "was the help too much" is answered.

If you are a Ph.D candidate and would like additional information, you may email me at:


Reference sites: