Wednesday, June 23, 2010


ADDIE: a nice point of reference for people to work from and perhaps a high-level framework or scaffolding for just about any project.

It seems to me that any respectable, common-sensed individual, who is tasked with designing some kind of instruction would end up following something similar to ADDIE without having ADDIE.

For example, without knowing the specifics of ADDIE, I jotted down some steps I would take to design instruction. My result was as follows:

Define the problem and it's surrounding factors
Plan a solution while continuously evaluating based on the need.
Develop and test (i.e. evaluate) the solution to see if it meets the needs. If needed or perhaps it is better said this way: when and as many times as needed, adjust the plan and redevelop.
Help get what you developed into place and functioning properly
Continously evaluate and adjust the solution as needed

As I look at other "models" from other fields (see below) I wonder if ADDIE is really all that different. If it is not then it would be problematic for a discipline, that is already being questioned as to whether it is a real discipline, to espouse it as a central piece. Not that having a "discipline" really matters in the end but if we feel IDT is helpful and good, which we do, then it would serve others to see it as a discipline.

Construction Management
Pre-Planning, Conceptual Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Drawings (or Contract Documents), and Construction Administration

Project Management (see green diagram)

Software Development
Waterfall model (see below)

Or the SDLC.
Market research
Gathering requirements for the proposed business solution
Analyzing the problem
Devising a plan or design for the software-based solution
Implementation (coding) of the software
Testing the software
Maintenance and bug fixing

I'm not saying that the above is as good or better than ADDIE but it leads to Molenda's comment:
"Anyone is free to impute whatever attributes they want to this label [ADDIE]…as they do." (Molenda, May/June 2003)

It is somewhat disturbing to me, yet somehow I am still okay with it, to read that "...ADDIE is a foundational
element of the field of IDT."

It is so high-level that it is difficult to say what it can really do or how it can help over another similar process for design. I come back to my point that it seems like each instructional designer has their own ADDIE. It may be a 10 step or 8 component process but each designer can fit those pieces into ADDIE and have a rationale discussion with others who are familiar with ADDIE and have a point of reference to work from. I think that is the main use. Not to down play that but if that really is the main use I don't know that there is great need to define it, analyze, and try to understand it in great detail...since those details are different for practically every designer.

ADDIE Dangers:
Analysis paralysis
Design - Who establishes the constraints and when do you know if you have a "good" design?
Development - Took us long enough to get here
Implement - "not created here" syndrome
Evaluate - Based on what?

A few other non-related side points:

I think you could still use ADDIE and have the following result which is an argument for the need for ADDIE.
"You could develop your instruction casually, starting, say, by drawing some diagrams of the automobile/submarine/forklift dashboard with all the dials and gauges. There's a high risk that you might discover later, however, that the diagram isn't really needed, or that it doesn't have just the right features or labels, or that it includes too much information for the learners. In short, it will cost time and effort to fix it."

My sister always used to listen to a song by Sarah McLachlan called Adia. As I read about ADDIE the first couple of lines of the song came to mind:

Sadly these words from a song that I heard constantly coming from my sister's room came to mind after I re-read my notes:
ADDIE I do believe I've failed you.
ADDIE I know I've let you down.

Isn't that Sarah McLachlaugn or someone like that?

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