ADDIE Model for Instructional Systems Design (ISD)

Graphic depiction of the ADDIE Model.

The ADDIE Model (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) is the tried and true standard for creating effective course material. Created at Florida State University in 1975, the ADDIE Model intended to standardize ISD for military training. Consequently, the model has branched into widespread use for all types of training throughout all industries.

Methods and best practices used by Cynosure for the implementation of the ADDIE Model are derived from the following expert resources:

  • Robert F. Mager: Preparing Instructional Objectives
  • Ruth C. Clark: Developing Technical Training: A Structured Approach for Developing Classroom and Computer-Based Instructional Materials
  • Donald L. Kirkpatrick: The Four Levels of Evaluation



In the ANALYZE step the instructional problem is defined by answering the questions:
• What is to be learned?
• Who needs to learn it?
• Why do they need to learn it?
• How are they going to learn it?
• How will we know they learned it?

The outcome of the ANALYZE step are formal instructional goals and objectives, a determination of the learning environment, and a sense of the learner’s existing knowledge and skills.



The DESIGN step takes its cues from the learning objectives and other outcomes of the ANALYZE step.
It is the part of the process where all the content requirements, assessment instruments and exercises, content outlines, subject matter analysis, lesson planning, and media selection are identified. Discreet actions taken in this step include, but are not limited to:
• Interface designs, specs, and graphic comps
• Detailed content outline
• Media analysis (can learners access to materials)

DESIGN is the systematic method of identifying the "what" and "how" the program will attain the instructional goals. 



If you believe the adage that, "prior planning prevents poor performance," and you actually did the appropriate planning in the previous steps, then the DEVELOP step should go smoothly.
The DEVELOP step is when all the materials defined for this program (text, visual, and audible) are created and assembled.
• Writers script content.
• Artists create visuals.
• Videographers/Audio create rich media assets
• Programmers code.
• Testers debug

The project is reviewed and revised as necessary based on feedback.



The IMPLEMENT step includes all of the things necessary to get the program out there for use in whatever medium. It may mean getting the program posted live to the website or having in-person presenters going through a train-the-trainer program.

This step includes all the necessary communication (email, postings, catalogs, et. al) to inform users of the program's existence and how to gain access.



The EVALUATE step exists two forms:
Incremental or formative: Evaluation is performed at each stage of the ADDIE Model.
Continuous or summative: Provides for on-going evaluation of the program and a mechanism for review/input from program stakeholders and end-users that are fed-back into the model to be addressed and resolved.

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