There are a lot of different models when it comes to instructional design. ADDIE is by far the most common and also a very comprehensive framework instructional designers can use to approach a bevy of projects. My next few posts will look at ADDIE in several different ways, but the first step is to understand what it is and how it compares to other models.

The ADDIE model of instructional design is based on analysis, design, development, implementation and ongoing evaluation. Analysis, being the first step and most critical, draws on the designer to look at data to drive further decision-making (Hodell, 2011, p. 27). The Design step looks for outlining objectives and Development step to gather and organize materials. Implementation takes the plan to action. Meanwhile, though the Evaluation step is listed last, formative assessments are done throughout the ADDIE process and a summative evaluation will be done at the end to assess the overall effectiveness of the design.


Many other models use different steps and words to accomplish the same thing as the ADDIE model. The ASSURE model, better known as the Heinich, Molenda, Russell and Smaldino model, takes similar steps as ADDIE asking designers to Analyze learners, State the objective, and Select the media/materials. Where it breaks from the ADDIE model is in the latter half of Utilizing media/materials and Requiring learner participation. Both models ask for evaluation (Gustafson & Branch, 2002, p. 22).


The Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction model is more rooted in classroom problem based learning and therefore looks a little different from both ASSURE and ADDIE. In this model, the designer will have a student Activate, Demonstrate, Apply, and Integrate based on a problem (InstructionalDesignCentral, 2012). Whereas the other two models look for a designer to sit and analyze information before design begins, this model is more learner-centered and seems to eliminate this step from the design process altogether.


Within all these models of design, analysis and evaluation seem to be at the root asking the designer to look at the needs to the learner and the desired outcome before venturing further. They all also ask the designer to evaluate and revise throughout the process. Several other models not mentioned here but discussed by Gustafson and Branch in their 2002 book, like the Newby, Stepich, Lehman and Russell PIE model- Planning, Implementation and Evaluation (p. 24) or the Diamond model which divides design into two phases: project selection & design and production, implementation and evaluation (p. 56) all ask for the designer to think before and reflect throughout.


I personally like the idea of really looking at the needs and abilities of the target learners imbedded in the ADDIE and ASSURE models. Working with mixed student abilities and learning types really requires a designer to look to learners first before tackling the design. Additionally, I like the idea that ADDIE asks for constant evaluation, not just a summative evaluation as the acronym implies. Reflecting thought the design process seems intuitive, but these models both ask for reflection to create the best learning platform. Here are a few links for more information about the ADDIE design (including a great infographic), ASSURE, and PIE!

Gustafson, K. L., & Branch, R. M. (2002). Survey of Instructional Models. Syracuse, New York: Eric Clearinghouse on Information & Technology.

Hodell, C. (2011). ISD from the Ground Up: A No-Nonsense Approach to Instructional Design. American Society for Training & Development .

InstructionalDesignCentral. (2012). Instructional design models and methods. Retrieved from http://www.instructionaldesigncentral.com/htm/IDC_instructionaldesignmodels.htm#kemp




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