The dilemma of ADDIE

ADDIE: The standard learning design model is usually some kind of feedback cycle known as ADDIE – with five phases—Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation, designed as a  guideline for building effective learning materials and courses. This is a Instructional Design (ID) model, usually regarded as having come from the work in Instructional Systems design by Walter Dick and Lou Carey – (their book: The Systematic Design of Instruction)- and generally formalised in the Training and development arena.

One reference (with a graphical summary of this model):

This model is often regarded as being too linear and inflexible.  (More on that later maybe)  Furthermore, too rigid an application of this model can bring dilemmas into the practical, day-to-day activities of a learning designer because many projects as they work out do not fit this model – not to mention some of our personalities, work styles and institutions.

The Morrison, Ross and Kemp model (MRK) (which followed ADDIE) is sometimes seen as adding in a concern for the learner with less of a behavoiurist overtone.  (One reference, not the best)

I wrote an article a number of years ago looking at where the ideas came for some of our best and most successful projects came from at the College of Education. For most, little of the process fitted into the ADDIE model. It was more like an emergent and organic process, with incubation, muddling around a few blind alleys, and then an ‘aha’ moment that often occurred in the corridor or from a side issue in a formal meetings.

I am reminded of the Sydney Harris cartoon that is linked here:  A Physicist describing the big bang theory has the statement “The a Miracle appears”Thenamiracleappears

His co-workers says: “I think you should be more explicit here in step two”.  For me, sometimes, what happened in moving forward or seeing a development in a project has been a mystery.

In our college work the analysis phase is occurred over a much longer period of time with shorter cycles of “Try it and evaluate”.  Much shorter cycles of feedback.  This has some aspects of the model often referred to as rapid prototyping.  Some have criticised it as being too light on the analysis and scoping.
This is one of the statements removed from Wikipedia in the Instructional design entry:

Proponents suggest that it attempts to save time and money by catching problems while they are still easy to fix but widespread attempts to make Instructional Design a field of professional practice devoid of analytical thought have resulted in rapid protyping.

There is a balance in there somewhere.  Analysis to paralysis is the phrase that springs to mind for some projects.

I’ve been involved for several years with the development of Interact, an open source software application.  Glen Davies introduced me to the ideas of Agile development.

ASIDE, from my surfing tonight: One form of this is Scrum approach – – as in Rugby, the letters do not mean anything. Sounds fun.  In the project, are you a pig or a hen?

In some respects, these software development models both have something to add to our approach developing educational materials.  ADDIE, agile development, MRK, SCRUM, Rapid prototyping – with a respect for the people and the learner.

Further questions: the influence of theory on practice and models – and the three titles: Educational design, Instructional design, Learning design. What is the difference and does it matter???????

Quite a comprehensive summary with links between ID and theory:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *