The ADDIE Model: Instructional Design

For many years now, educators and instructional designers alike used the “ADDIE” Instructional Design (ID) method as a guide in designing and effectively tracking a project’s progress. “ADDIE” stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. This sequence, however, does not impose a strict linear progression between each step. Rather, each stage is a clear instruction on its own. This means that even if the individual applies ADDIE at the middle of the project, it will still retain its value and be able to provide a sense of structure to the whole program. Educators find this approach very useful having stages clearly defined which makes implementation of instructions effectively. As an Instructional Design (ID) Addie Model has found wide acceptance and use.

The concept of Instructional Design can be traced back to as early as 1950s. But it is only until 1975 that ADDIE was designed and developed for the U.S Army which was later on implemented across all U.S Armed Forces.The Centre for Educational Technology department at Florida State University designed Addie Model for the U.S. Army. Subsequently all the U.S. Armed Forces adopted it. Today, the influence of the ADDIE method can be seen on most ID models being used. The goal was to finish each step before proceeding to the next. The original ADDIE model had sub-steps under each of the 5 steps. The five phases in Addie Model are based on the earlier ID model known as Five Step Approach which the U.S. Air Force developed. All existing ID models draw heavily from ADDIE process. The model in its original form had many sub stages within each of the five broad phases. One had to complete a phase before starting the next in a linear fashion. Practitioners over the years have made several revisions in the stages of the original hierarchical version. This has made the model more interactive and dynamic. It was in the mid-1980s that the version similar to the current version appeared.

Addie: Stages

Addie modelThe five components of the Addie Model are:


The analysis phase can be considered as the “Goal-Setting Stage”. The focus of the designer in the analysis phase is on the target audience. It is also here that the program matches the level of skill and intelligence each student/participant shows to make sure that what they already know won’t be duplicated and instead focus the learning on topics and lessons yet to be explored. In this phase, instructors distinguish between what the students already know and what they have to know after completing the course. Several key components are to be utilized to make sure analysis is thorough. Course texts and documents, syllabi and the internet are to be employed. With the help of online materials such as web courses, a structure can be determined as primary guide for the syllabus. At the end of the program, instructional analysis will be conducted to determine what subjects or topics are to be included. The Analysis Phase generally addresses the following questions

1. Overall background of the students/participants who will undergo the program. Personal and educational information such as age, nationality, previous experiences and interests should be determined. What is the target group? What are the educational goals, past knowledge levels, experiences, ages, interests, cultural background etc. of the learners?

2. What the students need to accomplish at the end of the program. What are the learner’s needs?

3. What will be required in terms of skills, intelligence, outlook and physical/psychological action-reaction? What are the desired learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, behavior etc.

4. Determining popular methods being used around the subject and taking a look at what needs to be developed and improved. Review of existing instructional strategies employed. Are they adequate? What aspects need to be added, clarified and improved upon?

5. Determining target objectives of the project. What instructional goals does the project focus on?

6. Determining various choices to be used. Is the learning environment conducive or not? A combination of live or online discussions? What will be the Pros and Cons between online and classroom based study? What delivery option is to be chosen? What type of learning environment is preferred? Does one opt for online or face-to-face or a blend of both? If online is preferred what will be the difference in learning outcomes of classroom-based learning and web-based learning?

7. Determining limiting factors to the overall goal of the project. Will it be resources — both technical and support, time, human resources, technical skills, financial etc.,


This stage determines all goals, tools to be used to gauge performance, various tests, body, subject matter analysis, planning and resources. This is where all approach should be done as planned while following a very specific set of rules. This systematic approach makes sure everything falls within a rational and planned strategy or set of strategies that has an ultimate goal of reaching the project’s targets. Being a stickler to the details on each step of the way is crucial to the success of the design stage. In the design phase focus is on the learning objectives, content, subject matter analysis, exercise, lesson planning, assessment instruments used and media selection. The design phase needs to be specific. Each element of the instructional design plan must be executed with attention to details. It should be systematic with a logical, orderly process of identification, development and evaluation of planned strategies which target the attainment of project’s goals.

During the design stage, the IDs need to determine:

1. Different types of media to be used. Audio, Video and Graphics are prime examples. Are third party resources going to be utilized or will the IDs create their own? Will you prepare the teaching learning material

2. Various resources at hand required to complete the project. What are the available resources at your disposal for completing the project?

3. Level and types of activity to be generated during the study. Is it going to be collaborative, interactive or on a per participant basis?

4. Using a teacher’s style approach, what way will you implement the parts of the project (e. g behaviourist, constructivist etc,.)

5. Time frame for each activity. How much time to be assigned to each task and how the learning will be implemented (per lesson, chapter, module, etc.,). Are the topics linear in progression (e.g easy to difficult)

6. The different mental processes needed by the participants in order to meet the targets of the project. What are the prescribed cognitive skills for students to achieve the project’s learning goals?

7. Knowledge and skill developed after each task. Do you have a way of determining such values have indeed been achieved by the student? What is the method adopted by you to determine the acquisition of desired competencies by the students?

8. The roadmap on how the study or project will appear on paper. Will it be advantageous to the ID to create a map of the different activities to see if they are in line with the goal of the project?

9. If the project is web-based, what kind of user interface will you employ? Do already have an idea on how the site will look like?

10. The feedback mechanism you will use to determine if the participants are able to digest the lessons. What is the mechanism designed by you to obtain learner’s feedback on material learnt?

11. Given the wide variety of student preferences and learning styles, what method will you implement to make sure that the program fits their wants? How will you design your project activities so as to appeal to diverse learning styles and interests of students? Will you opt for variety in delivery options and media type?

12. Pinpoint the main idea of the project.


The Development stage starts the production and testing of the methodology being used in the project. In this stage, designers make use of the data collected from the two previous stages and use this information to create a program that will relay what needs to be taught to participants. If the two previous stages required planning and brainstorming, the Development stage is all about putting it into action. This phase includes three tasks namely drafting, production and evaluation. Development thus involves creating and testing of learning outcomes. It aims to address the following questions:

1. Is the time frame being adhered to in relation to what has been accomplished in terms of material? Are you creating materials as per schedule?

2. Do you see team work across various participants? Are the members working effectively as a team?

3. Are participants contributing as per his or her optimal capacity?

4. Are the materials produced up to task on what they were intended for?


The implementation stage reflects the continuous modification of the program to make sure maximum efficiency and positive results are obtained. Here is where IDs strive to redesign, update, edit the course in order for it to be delivered effectively. Procedure is the key word here. Much of the “actual” work proper is done here as IDs and students work hand in hand to train on new tools and make sure the design is continuously being evaluated for further improvement. No project should run its course by itself and on the absence of proper evaluation from the IDs. Since this stage gains much feedback both from IDs and participants alike, much can be learned from and addressed.

Design evaluation is done in the implementation phase. Designers play a very active role in this stage which is very crucial for the success of the project. Developers should consistently analyze, redesign and enhance the product to ensure effective product delivery. Meticulous monitoring is a must. Proper evaluation of the product, course or program with necessary and timely revisions is done in this phase. When instructors and learners actively contribute in the implementation, then instantaneous modifications can be made to the project thus making the program more effective and successful.

The following are examples of what can be determined:

1. Advise on your preferred method of record keeping as well as the actual data you would like to mine from the experience of students interfacing with the project.

2. What is the emotional feedback given to you by teachers and students during initial demonstration of the project? Are they genuinely interested, eager, critical or resistant?

3. As the project proceeds, do you see that IDs are able to grasp the topic immediately or do they need help?

4. Explain how you are going to deal with any possible errors during testing. What will be your reaction when after presenting activities to students things do not go as planned?

5. Did you prepare a back-up tool at the event of initial failure of the project? When technical and other problems arise do you have ‘backup’ strategy?

6. Will you go for implementation on a small scale or a large scale?

7. When the student group gets the material can they work independently or is constant guidance required?


The last stage of the ADDIE method is Evaluation. This is the part where the project is being subjected to meticulous final testing of the what, how, why, when of the things accomplished (or were not accomplished) of the entire project. This phase can be broken down into two parts: Formative and Summative. The initial evaluation actually happens during development stage. This “Formative” phase happens while students and IDs are conducting the study while the “Summative” portion of it occurs at the end of the program. The evaluation stage main goal is to determine if the goals have been met and know what will be required moving forward in order to further the efficiency and success rate of the project.

Every stage of ADDIE process involves formative evaluation. This is multidimensional and an essential component of ADDIE process. It assumes the form of formative evaluation in the development phase. Evaluation is done throughout the implementation phase with the aid of the instructor and the students. After implementation of a course or program is over, a summative evaluation is done for instructional improvement. The designer throughout the evaluation phase should ascertain if the problem relevant to the training program is solved and whether the desired objectives are met.

While often overlooked due to time constraints and monetary reasons, it is an essential step of the whole ADDIE method as it aims to answer the below questions:

1. Determine the categories at which the effectiveness of the project can be established (improved learning, better motivation etc.,). On what factors or criteria will the effectiveness of project be determined?

2. Determine the way you will implement data collection as well as the timing at which it will be effectively made. When will the data related to the project’s overall effectiveness be collected and how?

3. Determine a system for analyzing participant feedback

4. Determine the method at which you will need to change some parts of the project prior to full release if needed be. On what basis will you arrive at a decision to revise certain aspects of the project before its full implementation?

5. Determine the method at which reliability and content validity can be observed.

6. Determine the method at which you will know if instructions are clear. How is the clarity of instructions assessed?

7. Determine the method at which you can analyze and grade the response of the participants on the project

8. Determine who gets to receive your final output regarding the project. Who will prepare this report on the results of the evaluation?