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Using the ADDIE Approach For Creating Online Training Courses

By Sep Barkhodaee
Published on August 30, 2013

ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate) is an acronym for a system originally designed by Florida State University to explain the process of military training, but it can be applied to all types including employee training and eLearning using an online training software. Originally comprised of a number of sub-steps beneath each of the five main steps, ADDIE has been simplified and refined over the years to work in a number of training scenarios. It is based on the principle of constantly assessing the efficacy and success of a training program and revising it to maximize results.

The acronym highlights the order in which the steps should be undertaken. However, ADDIE is a continual process where instructional designers move back and forth through the steps. Specifically, the ADDIE process is implemented in the following way:


1)    Analyze: this is where instructional designers determine the learning problem to be solved and the learning objectives central to solving that problem. Designers need to be aware of who the learners are, what new behaviours they hope to inspire and the timeline for the training program.


2)    Design: During the design phase instructional designers plan the specific learning objectives, develop rubrics and assessment tools, plan exercises and otherwise establish the essential components and content of the training program. This is the point where the user interface is determined and prototypes of individual activities are constructed in order to identify problems and challenges.



3)    Development: During development, instructional designers put the various design pieces together into a coherent product. This involves making storyboards to determine the workflow of the training program and integrating support technologies if the training program is an e-learning or blended project.



4)    Implementation: At this point, the instructional designer will now train the trainers on how to implement the new employee development program. The perspective trainers must understand software, hardware and learner registration. At this point perspective instructors will also provide feedback on the structure and function of the training program in order to make any final corrections.



5)    Evaluation: the final evaluation of the training program’s design and delivery should be based a combination of learner and instructor feedback measured against overall learning objectives. From here, the instructional designer may keep the project in its present form, or further refine and revise by starting the ADDIE process again. The objective in either case is to ensure that the training programs is the best it can be and that it has effectively met its stated objectives 


Finally, its important to keep in mind that development using ADDIE isn’t a strictly linear process. Designing and testing components at each point means that you will often start one phase only to move back to it as you receive more feedback and commentary on the work. ADDIE based design is a collaborative, two-way process, that brings together a number of stakeholders in an effort to maximize learner take-away. ADDIE takes time and effort to implement effectively, but the results make it worth the investment.

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