In my current role as an eLearning developer, I have been using the ADDIE model to help build effective training and performance support tools for clients. Using this model helps keep our workflow in sections with clear results and obtainable milestones, in addition to providing staff members with a framework on how to engage clients. I’ll explain the ADDIE model by breaking it down into its five steps: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate.


Analyzing a potential situation by collecting information related to it gives us resources to pull from. From there, we can start to think about how we can use these resources to help and provide solutions. From there we can analyze further by breaking up tasks, and analyzing each individual task and how it will be completed. For example, when creating an eLearning course you could analyze pre-existing teaching documentation such as PowerPoints, word documents, or charts.


Designing is the next step where we perform learning analyzes on each task. This is great to think about before actually developing because you can set a learning content to an actionable focused activity such as dealing with a customer, or providing help. You should never use ideas or examples that have no applicability in the real world. You can then develop obtainable objectives for the learning content, and design the sequence in which it would be most beneficial to present it in.


After designing comes Development where everything is put together. Here is where you would select all the appropriate content and how it will be displayed. You will develop all of the course materials, images, videos, etc… From my experience this is arguably the longest process in ADDIE because there can be a lot of back and forth with what you have designed and what the client will approve. Development is also very rewarding because you can see your hard work from before put together into something that is tangible.


After everything has been developed and approved, we move onto Implementing the learning. This is not to say you should wait until now to think about how it will be implemented however. You should always be thinking about where it will end up and what you need to do to ensure it gets there. For eLearning, this usually means working with an LMS and setting it up correctly so that learners may register and take the course. This also means that the learner group will need to be contacted and told that the course is available to be taken.


Lastly, Evaluating everything is extremely important. This helps guide your future training by providing analytics to what is working and what can be improved upon. For example, when working with one of my clients, they use Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation to see if their investment in training is profitable, actionable, and makes sense. You can fine tune pre-existing courses by gathering data from surveys, by observing how they are being used, or by monitoring specific content such as changing the wording on a question if multiple people get it wrong.

ADDIE is a great model that Towson University Center for Professional Studies has been using for a while now for eLearning, but it is also a great framework for how we engage clients. We analyze their problem, design a solution, develop the solution, implement our solution, and evaluate our solution’s effectiveness.