The ADDIE Model for Instructional Design

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this component, students will be able to:

* Name the five phases of the ADDIE model;
* Identify the types of activities that occur in each phase of the ADDIE model;
* Explain why the ADDIE model is a useful framework for the instructional design process.

Topic Overview

Instructional designers are people who are responsible for creating instructional experiences that grab learners right where they are and provide them with new skills and knowledge so that they can do things they have never done before.

The instructional experiences that instructional designers create may be ones that they themselves teach to students (this is what K-12 educators do, they design and deliver instruction); or instructional designers may create instructional experiences that other people deliver to students (this is typically the case in corporate training and development departments, where an instructional design group creates training, and a delivery group is responsible for instruction of the training); or instructional designers may create instructional experiences that are accessed directly by learners (this is often called self-paced instruction).

In each of these cases, the responsibility of the instructional designer is to create an instructional experience which ensures that the learners will achieve the goals of instruction. The ADDIE model is a generic, systematic approach to the instructional design process, which provides instructional designers with a framework in order to make sure that their instructional products are effective and that their creative processes are as efficient as they can possibly be.

ADDIE stands for:

* Analysis
* Design
* Development
* Implementation
* Evaluation

Each phase of the ADDIE model is an important element of the instructional design process. In each phase, the instructional designer makes decisions that are critical for ensuring the effectiveness of the instructional experience. The kinds of activities that occur in each phase of the ADDIE process are described below.


During the Analysis phase of the ADDIE process, the instructional designer is focused on collecting data that will impact the design of instruction. During analysis, the instructional designer should gather information regarding:

* The need for instruction
* The goals of instruction
* The characteristics of the target audience
* The skills and knowledge to be learned
* The contexts of the instruction and the performance environment


Once the analysis has been completed, the instructional designer begins to create the "blueprints" of the instructional experience. This is the design phase of the ADDIE process. In this phase, the instructional designer plans the elements of instruction, such as:

* The objectives of the instruction
* Motivational strategies that will be incorporated into the instruction
* The introductory presentation of content
* Examples and non-examples to be shown to learners
* Practice activities and feedback mechanisms
* Testing and evaluation strategies
* The instructor materials that will be needed


Development is the production phase of the ADDIE process. This is the point where the plans of the design phase become the reality of instructional materials and activities. In this phase, the instructional designer is concerned with issues such as:

* What is the most appropriate medium for instruction?
* How can the visual design of the instructional materials support and facilitate learning?
* Are the materials "usable" or do they actually get in the way of learning?
* Are the instructional materials affordable given the budget of the project?


The implementation phase is the reason for the instructional design process. Implementation is instruction. In the implementation phase, all the work of analysis, design and develop come together, and the pay-off is that (if all goes well), learners actually gain valuable knowledge and skills as the result of instruction. In order for implementation to be successful, instructional designers must consider issues such as:

* How much time is available for instruction?
* Where will instruction occur?
* How many learners will engage in the instructional experience at one time?
* How many sets of instructional materials will be needed?
* How do I ensure that the instructors/students experience the materials as I intended?


The purposes of the evaluation phase are at least two-fold. The first question that needs to be addressed in evaluation is, did the learners achieve the goals that were set out for the instruction? Other questions that should be asked as part of the evaluation are, did the learners like the instructional experience? Were the learners able to transfer what they learned in class out into the real world? Was there any long-term return on the investment in the instructional experience?

The answers to these important questions allow the instructional designer to certify that learning has actually occurred as result of the instructional experience they created, and additionally, evaluation helps the instructional designer to identify ways to improve future applications of the instructional activities and materials. Evaluation provides a feedback link back into the analysis phase of the ADDIE model. For good instructional designers, the ADDIE model is actually not linear, but more of a loop. Instructional designers are constantly and continually engaged in analysis, design, development and evaluation of their products, looking for ways to make them better or more appropriate for any particular learning situation.



Kemp, Morrison & Ross. Designing Effective Instruction, 1997. Merrill Publishing Mager, Robert F. Preparing Instructional Objectives. 3rd edition, 1997. Center for Effective Performance.


Schiffman, S.S. (1995). Instructional Systems Design: five views of the field. In G.J. Anglin (Ed.), Instructional Technology: Past, Present, and Future (2nd ed.) (pp. 131-142). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Schrock, S.A. (1995). A brief history of instructional development. In G.J. Anglin (Ed.), Instructional Technology: Past, Present, and Future (2nd ed.) (pp. 11-18). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Review and Discussion Questions

1. What is the value and what are the costs of using a system approach to the design of instruction?
2. Must the ADDIE phases be completed in sequence, or could they occur simultaneously?
Last modified: Monday, 12 September 2011, 6:42 PM