The ADDIE Model – Why Use It?

If you are new to training development and have been thinking of putting together any type of training program, it is important to know and understand the most basic training tool used by professional trainers; it is called the ADDIE model.

The ADDIE model is basically a generic, systematic, step-by-step framework used by instructional designers, developers and trainers to ensure course development and learning does not occur in a haphazard, unstructured way. It is designed to ensure:

(1) learners will achieve the goals of the course,

(2) allows for the evaluation of learner’s needs,

(3) the design and development of training materials, and

(4) evaluation of effectiveness of the training program using processes with specific, measurable outcomes.


ADDIE came about with the development of the Cold War after World War II as the United States military struggled with itself to find a way to create more effective training programs for increasingly complex subjects. The result of this struggle for increased effectiveness bore fruit in the form of Instructional Systems Design which in turn, led to the design models that are in use today. You will often hear ADDIE referred to as Instructional Systems Design (ISD), Instructional Systems Design & Development (ISDD), Systems Approach to Training (SAT) or Instructional Design (ID). Most of the current instructional design models you will find in the workplace today are variations or spin-offs of the original ADDIE model.

The Model

The literature on ADDIE estimates that there are well over 100 different ISD variations in use today, with almost all being based on the generic ADDIE model, which stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation; with each step or phase leading into the next as illustrated below:

Analysis ‘ Design ‘ Development ‘ Implementation ‘ Evaluation

One commonly accepted improvement to the ADDIE model that almost everyone uses whether consciously or unconsciously, is the use of what is often referred to as rapid prototyping which attempts to catch design flaws while they are still easy to fix. This is done by receiving ongoing feedback throughout all phases of the ADDIE model and making changes while moving forward.

During the Analysis phase, we define and develop as clear of an understanding of the audience’s needs, constraints, existing knowledge, skills and the desired outcome of the training that we can. The Design phase endeavors to identify specific learning objectives, topic content, presentation methods and media, learner exercises and assessment criteria to be used. The Development phase creates and begins production of the learning materials to be used in the training. Implementation delivers the material by actually presenting and/or delivering the developed plan to the intended learning group or audience. After delivery, the Evaluation phase assesses the effectiveness of the topic content and training materials utilized in the training program and makes improvement changes for the next implementation or presentation. Let’s take a look at each phase individually.

The Phases

The Analysis phase is the most important phase in the ADDIE model. It identifies areas requiring …