The ADDIE method of instructional design consists of five phases that trainers and instructional designers may use to plan and implement training. The steps in the process are Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. The steps work in conjunction with one another, which saves companies time and money by allowing revisions to be made throughout the process rather than after the training is launched.
In the analysis phase, the training team works with the business owners to analyze and assess the goals and objectives for the training being developed. One question addressed in this phase is what type of training delivery method will be used. Will it be web-based or instructor led? Additional questions such as who the audience is and what are their learning patterns may also be discussed during the analysis phase. Deadlines and a project plan may be determined at this time as well.
After questions are assessed and answered during the analysis phase, the training designer begins to layout the training content and to develop the design document. This document, while not containing actual content, will contain the outline of content, any groupings of content that may be necessary and media notes. Quizzes or assessments will also be included in the design document as will any types of training exercises the participants will be required to do.
The development phase is when storyboards for the training are developed, and graphic designs are created or chosen. The graphics will be implemented into the training and will enhance the training by giving the learning visuals to complement the content. The actual course content is written during the development phase. For web-based training, a small version of the course may be put together at this time. This allows the web team to upload and test the content online and to make necessary adjustments. After the training content is developed, it is then sent to the business owners and the subject matter experts (SME) for review and approval.
After the course content is finalized and approved by the business owners, the training is ready to be launched. This occurs during the implementation phase. Facilitators must review and understand the curriculum as well as the testing process. Books, manuals and copies of software should be obtained if necessary to be distributed during the training. Course scheduling and student enrollment are completed during this time. Any necessary travel arrangements are made for facilitators or participants during the implementation phase.
During the evaluation phase, feedback is generated by the participants of the course. This can be done by surveys, either paper based or electronic. Receiving participants' feedback is important for the development of future courses. The evaluation process will allow the instructional designers to find out if learning objectives are being met and how well the course is being received. Long-term evaluations may be necessary to determine whether material was retained or if workers' behavior changed in the workplace. This type of evaluation may be done several months after the training has occurred. These types of evaluations are summative and are completed after the training. Formative evaluations are ongoing during each phase of the ADDIE method, which allow for errors to be caught early in the process.
Based in Richmond, Va., Susan Ayers is a senior learning associate for a financial organization. She previously developed web-based training for Circuit City and spent a number of years creating eLearning courses for a not-for-profit law enforcement organization. Ayers graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a master's in education from St. Joseph's College.