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  Instruction > Instructional Design  > ADDIE

Instructional Design

"Education is the transmission of civilization."
  Ariel & Will Durant

ADDIE — Instructional System Design

Instructional design is the systematic specification of instruction to include: presentation, activities, materials, guidance, feedback and evaluation.

It applies learning principles to decisions about information content, instructional method, use of media and delivery system. The goal is to ensure instructional quality, effectiveness, efficiency and enjoyment.

The purpose of instructional design is to maximize the value of instruction for the learner — especially the learner's time. Instruction provides a concentration of life-experience into a shortened, optimized time frame and provides feedback to ensure that learning objectives are actually being achieved. Ideally, instruction allows the knowledge, wisdom, and skills of an instructor-author to be personally communicated or demonstrated to a learner.
                         Richard Otto, Cognitive Design Solutions

The most common model of Instructional System Development (ISD) is ADDIE, which stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. Discussion of ADDIE, in the context of defining the Instructional Design Process, has been introduced in another section of this web site entitled Workflow: Traditional ISD & Rapid Prototyping. The most common view of ADDIE is the classic "waterfall" type of development model with each phase sequentially flowing into the next.

  • Analysis involves needs analysis, job analysis, and task analysis. Output of this phase should include instructional goals. The definition of meaningful, job relevant and achievable instructional objectives drives the next stage of design.
  • Design involves outlining the strategy for how to reach the instructional goals determined during the Analysis phase. Design decisions focus on: content selection, instructional strategy and methods, media and materials, and a variety of delivery system options. The design specification, often including layout drawings, templates or prototypes, then drives the next stage of development.
  • Development entails building all forms of instruction necessary to execute the learning strategy and any supporting documentation. Development includes instructor activity guides and materials appropriate for the mode of delivery. This may include traditional classroom instructor-led presentation and activities, web-based training tutorials, online virtual classroom presentation, simulation and practice, media development (graphics, animation, audio and video) and so forth. In every instance, development is tested and evaluated to validate that the activities and materials are ready to use by the learner.
  • Implementation refers to the actual delivery of instruction in a way that ensures student mastery of the learning objectives and transfer of necessary skills to the job setting.
  • Evaluation measures the effectiveness and efficiency of the instruction. Formative assessment occurs within and between phases, while summative assessment occurs at the end of the process.

Here is an adapted version of ADDIE as presented by IDC (2001):

This is a functional view of ADDIE depicting the overlapping and interdependent processes breaking out of a rigid view of sequential stages.

The following workflow diagram illustrates the moving from the high level of abstraction of ADDIE to the practical details of project management. Click on the graphic to see a larger, more readable presentation of this diagram.

A "problem-based instruction" model is presented by Dr. M. David Merrill in his "Five Star Instruction" model for effective design. He calls instructional design process most suitable to this task "Pebble in the Pond" design.



 The ADDIE Model of Instructional Systems Design, online resource from UTSA, University of Texas at San Antonio
 The Pebble-in-thePond model for Instructional Design", online resource from isi.org, August 2002, by Dr. M. David Merrill


  ©2003 Cognitive Design Solutions, Inc.