The ADDIE Series: II

Welcome to the second posting in this 4-part series on the ADDIE instructional design model. The past two weeks we have focused on the “A” and the first “D” – analysis and design.

Analysis – every successful training program, curriculum, or course starts here. Designers must learn about the audience, the environment, and the instructional goals in order to deliver an effective product (Hodell, 2011). In the analysis, designers will gather information about:

  • The audience: demographics, educational background, attitudes, motivation, learning styles, etc.
  • The task: what skills are necessary for successful completion, what level of mastery is acceptable
  • The learning environment and technology: is it accessible for those with disabilities, does it have sufficient technology in terms of type and amount (of computers, tablets, etc.)
  • The situation: barriers in the organization that must be overcome to have successful training

For you visual learners out there, this video breaks down the analysis phase really well. FYI, what he refers to as the instructional analysis, I called the task analysis.

Design – consider this the blueprint that will guide the development of materials and implementation of the actual training. During this phase, a designer will create a design plan (Hodell, 2011) – a document that details the following:

  • rationale or mission statement
  • description of target population
  • course description including length, methods, materials
  • learning objectives
  • evaluation strategies
  • participant and facilitator prerequisites
  • deliverables (media, papers, etc. that will be used by facilitators and participants in the training)

There have been three “take home” message for me these past two weeks:

First, many different models use very different wording to say essentially the same thing. In my previous post I talked about the UbD framework and its similarities to ADDIE. The closed loop instructional method from this article very closely mirrors the “DDIE” phases. The rapid prototyping model used in everything from course design to manufacturing features a continuous cycle of design, development of prototypes, and analysis, mirroring ADDIE’s design, development, and evaluation (Gustafson et al., 2002). What does this all mean? This means that the relationship between design and evaluation is crucial to success – it must be ongoing, whether on the course curriculum scale, or the every-day, in-the-trenches classroom teaching.

Secondly, our readings and discussions drove home the lesson NOT to overlook analysis. While many argue the centrality  design (Hodell, 2011) or evaluation in ADDIE, neither will succeed without analysis first. The culminating project for my current course asks that I design a training for my colleagues (keep your eyes on the EDU 623 page!). If I have any hope of the training succeeding I not only need to know my learners’ educational backgrounds, but their job responsibilities and interests and wishes for professional development (PD). I didn’t know this information on my own, so I needed to conduct a survey. Perhaps the most interesting finding was the range of attitudes towards training and PD. Some were very excited (at least on paper) about training and giving their input into the topics, whereas some left no indication of any preference. This left me wondering whether they just didn’t know what they wanted to focus on in PD, or whether years of the same workshops over and over again had left them indifferent.

A more unified ADDIE
A more unified ADDIE

Finally, given the push and pull between analysis, design, and evaluation, and the various opinions about which phase is most important, I decided that a moreunified approach to ADDIE was needed. Instead of a linear model with discreet steps (or a linear model with so many arrows between phases I get lost trying to track them), I wanted to show the close relationship between analysis, design, and evaluation.

This constant back and forth between phases is something we teachers  already do, we just don’t couch it such a formal model. My everyday evaluation looks more like this: reflection at every step of my day. ADDIE gives that reflection context and direction – a next step to take with my conclusions.




Bolkan, J. (2015). Report: To unlock potential of ed tech, use a ‘closed-loop’ instructional approach. Retrieved from:

Gardener, J. (2011, September 25). The ADDIE analysis phase [Video file]. Retrieved from

Gustafson, K.L. & Branch, R.M. (2002). Survey of instructional development models. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology.

Heick, T. (2015). What it means to be a reflective teacher [Weblog comment]. Retrieved from

Hodell, C. (2011). ISD from the ground up: A no-nonsense approach to instructional design.


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