August 1st, 2013 Tips & Tricks

Anyone who is actively involved with instructional design has at some point used the ADDIE model (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) for their course development.  This model is one of (if not the) most popular structures used by training designers today.  As you can expect, it has received a lot of attention from the community – some criticizing it, others providing praise.  Personally, I feel that ADDIE works just fine, and I have used a variation of it for years on my own projects.

It’s actually quite interesting how passionate people are one way or another when it comes to this model. I think if you approach any training design and implementation with an understanding that it will have its own unique qualities, then you allow for a flexibility within the model road-map. There’s nothing wrong with using ADDIE as a foundation; a starting place to build your own “model” of sorts. These types of structures are beneficial in helping drive consistency across projects.

I suppose what I find missing from the method is a TESTING component – or, a dry-run after development. This is traditionally lumped into the Development cycle, but I prefer to see it called out. Also, there isn’t much reference to post implementation. Whenever I do any kind of training program deployment, I ensure that there is a “Post-Deploy” component for quality assurance purposes. As you can see, adding items to the model is not against the law, do what you feel is most effective.

For those of you who are new to the field, or just want a reminder, the infographic below (provided by Nicole Legault) provides a nice overview. There is certainly more to each cycle, but this is always a good place to start.


Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter

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23 responses

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I love this infographic; is it possible to have this as a file I can save and print?



Avatar Greg Rider

Hi Greg-
Thanks for the comment. If you use the infographic anywhere else, please make sure that the original author receives credit (@nicole_legault)

I’ve never really thought of the testing phase being separate from the development. That is an interesting perspective. I’ve always missed from ADDIE (which I use all the time) is the maintenance phase. Most of us, especially when you work full-time and aren’t a contractor, know that a project is never actually over. Just as soon as you finish a project/course, you start having to relook, retoo, and update everything.

Avatar Peggy Hall

Hi Justin,
Thanks for this information. I love the Infographic! It’s very concise and will be very useful to me since I’m new to the exciting world of ISD. Is the Infographic on the Learndash website? I would like to use it as a reference.

Avatar Tondrea Dent

Hi Tondrea-
Thank you for the comment. It is a very well-done graphic by Nicole Legault. If you use it, be sure to give her proper credit 🙂

Justin, I am a project manager as well as an instructional designer and trainer. It makes perfect sense to have a separate step for both testing and post-implementation. Just as project manager adjust the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) processes to suit all types of projects, instructional designers must adjust the ADDIE model to suit different training. Thankyou for sharing both your informaiton and the graphic by Nicole Legault. Peg

Avatar Peggy Ruscitti

Great graphic. You can save a copy of this graphic by right-clicking on the graphic in your browser and selecting “Save picture as…” Justin is 100% correct: give credit to Nicole Legault in all instances, and get permission if you plan on using this in a commercial endeavor. Not only is it the right thing to do; it’s the legal thing you have to do.

Dear Justin
It`s really nice infograph. Is it possible to send me full paper or text.

Avatar Mohammad

Hi Mohammad-
Thanks for the note. The copy I have is the one included in this blog post. You can save it to your computer, but make sure to give the original creator, Nicole Legault, credit.

Thank you for sharing!
I particularly liked “There’s nothing wrong with using ADDIE as a foundation; a starting place to build your own “model” of sorts.” Also, “Whenever I do any kind of training program deployment, I ensure that there is a “Post-Deploy” component for quality assurance purposes.” In Human Performance Technology (HPT) this process is called “Confirmative Evaluation”.

Hey, nice post–thanks for sharing. We’ve been in the business for 20 years, and though we try other methods, it seems like we always come back home to some version of ADDIE (though I often complain that we leave off the A and the E!)

I liked it so much I linked back to you on our site–hope you don’t mind. Take a look:

;-; i was supprised when i looked up “what is addie” ((my name to)) that this came up…. not what i thought would come up… and i read this and i have no idea what its is because im only in 7th grade –

Look at the bright side – you’re famous 🙂

Dear Justin,

We love this infographic and would like to distribute it internally among our training department – is that possible? Of course giving credit and keeping the reference to the creator Nicole Legault.

Many thanks

Hi Bodil-
If you’re giving credit to the original creator, you absolutely can distribute.

Hi Justin,

Its a nice infographics which gives in brief the ADDIE model. Can you put some light on your word pres LMS . I am working in a Small BPO in India, and know about the LMS, its benefits etc. However I need guidance on how tomstart developing an LMS for my organisation. Your valuable guidance needed.


Avatar Rashmi

Hi Rashmi-
Thanks for the note. Happy to answer any questions you may have for your project and LearnDash – send us a note here to discuss further.

I would like permission to distribute this info graphic to a group of curriculum developers through a training we offer through the Ohio Department of Corrections. We do not charge for our training and all staff are employees of the Ohio Department of Corrections. Thank you.

Avatar Kathleen Nichols

Hi Kathleen-

Thanks for the note. You can distribute, just make sure you give the original creator (Nicole Legault) credit.

hi Justin, i’m currently busy with a course on HRM. I’m struggling a bit as I have never before done something like this. We are currently busy with the Addie model and the one i am particularly struggling with is the development phase. I’m not sure what exactly i should do there. Can you perhaps give me some input or explanations on what to do during an development phase?
The course is very interesting but sometimes its just like i hit a brick wall

Avatar Muriel Horn

Hi Muriel-

Have a look at this article, it may help you get a better idea of what is expected during this phase.

Hello Justin,
I really need your help, I currently have an assignment to find a case study that needs to be resolved by offering a learning solution using the ADDIE model , am struggling to find a case study that is resolved using the ADDIE
wish you can help

Avatar kate

I enjoyed reading this blog, would you happen to have any good resource sites on the analysis phase of the ADDIE Model?

Avatar Cynthia Malone

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