Learning theory and instructional design have evolved rapidly over the last few decades, in large part because of two factors. First, advances in neuroscience research have taught us much more about how the brain absorbs and retains information. Second, new technologies have emerged which allow instructional designers to create more interactive, personalized learning experiences that maximize retention.
Recently we talked about the 70:20:10 learning model, and how eLearning now allows us to integrate the “10” (structured learning) with the “70” (experiential learning). The ADDIE model has also been improved and refined by these advances. First, let’s review what ADDIE stands for:
Analysis: The first step in the ADDIE model is an analysis of the goals and objectives of the course, and the skill level and needs of the learners. The “A” in ADDIE is all about the audience – who is learning, what do they need to know, and what’s their starting point?
Design: Once the analysis phase is complete, we move onto the two-part design phase. Why are there two parts? Because there is the underlying functional and structural design of what information will be delivered, at what pace and in what order, as well as the visible design of the course from a graphic and user experience perspective.
Develop: Following the design phase, the courses and programs are developed. Since we are primarily talking about eLearning, this is the phase where design meets coding, and the course is turned into a series of functions and processes which can then be delivered through a learning management system (LMS).
Implement: The implementation phase is the execution of the solution blueprint into the business. This is where we pilot and test the courses, make sure that they are functioning correctly, and then roll them out to the larger audience.
Evaluate: While this is the last phase, like many other development processes, ADDIE is also a cycle. So when we evaluate the course delivery and effectiveness, we do it with an eye for the future and an intent to create improvements for the next round.
ADDIE is an efficient baseline model for eLearning program development. But with advances in technology and neuroscience, we’ve learned more about how people learn. This, in turn, has allowed us to revisit and refine ADDIE to improve the eLearning process in several ways.
We’ve always known that people start at various points in the learning process, and that individuals learn differently. This has created challenges in the analysis and design phases of the ADDIE model as it was once a challenge to adapt courses to different learning styles and to skip through segments that one learner had already mastered.
Today’s learning management systems allow us to use assessments and tools to personalize the learner experience, so that individualized learning paths can be created. This has greatly increased engagement and efficiency, as learners are not spending time bored, waiting out modules that teach skills they have already mastered.
In addition to a more personalized learning experience, technology offers us advances in design, including gamification, and other interactive tools that encourage a more active learning process. And finally, mobile and social learning bring the learning environment into the practical, day-to-day work so that it can be more closely tied to the experience of the skills that are being mastered.
As both learning theory and technology evolve, we are gaining new tools and techniques to maximize the effectiveness and retention of learning experiences. While ADDIE has been around as a model for many years, it continues to be a useful base for designing and developing learning solutions.
For more about ADDIE, or to schedule a consultation with one of our learning experts, contact us today!
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