Long Live ADDIE

To paraphrase the late great Mark Twain: reports of the death of the ADDIE instructional design model are greatly exaggerated.

Over the past few years there has been a noticeable uptick in the number of voices (many well respected) claiming that the ADDIE instructional design model is at best outdated and inefficient and at worst totally dead and replaced by faster, better, stronger newcomers (like SAM, BOB, FRANK, and others).  The truth is, these new instructional design “models” are not really new at all – they are different “spins” on the old ADDIE model. Here’ is a high level overview of what ADDIE really means and why it remains a solid bedrock upon which successful eLearning (and other) programs are based.

ADDIE in a Nutshell:

  • Analysis: Understand who your learners are, what you want them to know or do as a result of the training, how you will deliver the training to them, etc.
  • Design: Create a short prototype (maybe 5-10 minutes) that includes the types of audio, graphics, and content that will go in to your final course.
  • Develop: Gather all of your content, organize your thoughts into storyboards, notes, or some kind of logical grouping that you can then produce as a high quality custom training experience.
  • Implement: Decide how you are going to deploy the training and how you will subsequently track learner progress.
  • Evaluate: Have a plan to document and take action upon both formative and summative evaluation feedback.

Need more info on ADDIE? Download our free ADDIE for eLearning checklist/job aid!

All you really need to know about ADDIE:

The key to using the ADDIE model in any environment (rapid eLearning, complex high quality productions, etc.) is to understand that ADDIE is not a straight-line linear process. It does not really matter the order in which you perform these tasks. It does not matter if you fully complete each step before starting some other step or completing any step at all. What matters is that you as a professional eLearning developer understand why these phases have been so useful for so many years and that you know when and how to apply ADDIE principles to your project. In fact, all of the fancy newfangled instructional design models have ADDIE principles included within them and most of their “new techniques” actually fit quite nicely within ADDIE and are not new at all.

Let’s take a look at an example. Say you have an existing PowerPoint deck, a couple of videos, and a few training documents that you think would make a great eLearning course. You could fire up your screen recorder, ad lib through a PowerPoint referencing your Word documents, insert a video at the end and publish/deploy your course. Some may call this “rapid prototyping”. I call this focusing primarily within the Development phase of the ADDIE model.

Introducing the totally new DADDIE Instructional Design Model

On second thought, we at the eLearning Network® have our own fancy new instructional design model I’d like to share with you called “DADDI”, which promises to revolutionize the eLearning world.

You start by Developing (D) your course first. You then analyze (A) what you’ve created to see how well it fits your learners and learning objectives. Then you properly design (D), develop (D), implement (I), and evaluate (E) your course. So I guess ADDIE really is dead and destined to be replaced by our new DADDIE model – and we are giving it away for free 🙂

Support our mission to change the world of eLearning (it’s free)

Our mission at the eLearning Network® is to promote the advancement, adoption, and overall quality of eLearning courses, technologies and the eLearning professionals who use them.  Help support our mission by

Leave a Reply