What Is the ADDIE Model for Instructional Design? (2023)


In the dynamic landscape of instructional design, the systematic creation of effective learning experiences is paramount. 

Enter the ADDIE Model

The ADDIE Model is an instructional design model that provides a structured and adaptable approach to creating effective learning instructional content, courses, and experiences. The ADDIE Model serves as a guiding framework for instructional designers, educators, and trainers alike for creating training materials

In this article, we dive into the intricacies of the ADDIE model, exploring each phase’s significance, and how they collectively contribute to the development of engaging, results-oriented learning initiatives. 

What Is the ADDIE Model?

The ADDIE Model (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) is a commonly-used instructional design framework used by instructional designers and training developers to develop employee training programs. The ADDIE Model represents an iterative, dynamic, and flexible guideline for instructional designers to build effective eLearning courses. The model gives you a streamlined, focused approach that provides feedback for continuous improvement. 


The 5 Phases of the ADDIE Model

The five phases of the ADDIE model of the instructional design process include:

  • The Analysis Phase
  • The Design Phase
  • The Development Phase
  • The Implementation Phase
  • The Evaluation Phase

Let’s explore all the phases in detail.

1. The Analysis Phase

The analysis phase is the foundation for all other phases of instructional design. In this phase, you analyze all the factors needed to develop a course. 

This includes – the problem, training needs, target audience, learning goals, etc. There is no prescribed list of what has to be included in the analysis phase, as it varies according to different organizational requirements.

With that being said, general outputs include:

  • Problem identification: A stakeholder reaches out to the trainer or instructional designer with a burning problem like low sales, non-inclusive culture, or lack of a particular skill. The problem is then analyzed to conclude whether or not it can be solved through training.
  • Skill gap analysis: Identify the gap between the actual and desired knowledge and skills.  A skill gap analysis results in a list of skills your employees already have, need to improve, and need to develop. From there, you can fill in the skill gap using training programs to build a team of skilled workers that meet your company’s needs. 
  • Current knowledge: Analyze what skills and knowledge your trainees already have, allowing you to avoid duplicating content or offering redundant information.
  • Learning goals: Goals serve as a measure of training success. Identify metrics such as – organizational goals, individual goals, learners’ achievement post course completion, etc. 
  • Target audience: Identify your target audience to understand the pain points and expectations, tailor the training delivery methods, and make the content relatable.
  • Barriers and dependencies: Identify any learning barriers in the method of training delivery. For example, if learners don’t have access to a particular technology required to take the training, this would be a barrier. Also identify any dependencies such as factors that could hinder course completion within the given time and budget, access to subject matter experts, availability of IT infrastructure, etc.
  • Resource mapping: Based on all the information gathered in the analysis phase, map the resources required for the training. This includes the number of training hours, duration, budget, facilities, etc.

2. The Design Phase

The design phase involves using outputs from the analysis phase to plan a strategy for developing the instructional course. During this phase, outline how to reach the learning goals determined during the analysis phase and expand the instructional foundation by following instructional design best practices.

The design phase specifies the following:

  • Learning intervention outline: Create a high-level outline that structures the learning intervention and specifies learning objectives per lesson. The data from the previous phase serves as an input here.
  • Develop scripts and storyboards: A storyboard is a blueprint that outlines the placement of text, visuals, interactions, navigation, and other elements of an eLearning course. The script is an outline of the text a learner will see on the slides. Scripts and storyboards go hand-in-hand. These two items help you better evaluate, edit, and outline the text, audio, and video of the course and decide what’s best for the overall objective of your eLearning program.
  • User interface and environment:  After analyzing the training needs, select the best employee training method – web-based training, corporate learning management system (LMS), instructor-led, mobile learning, training videos, blended learning approach, etc. depending on the needs of your learners.
  • Assets and media: Select the media and resources to support the eLearning course, such as audio, video, graphics, training activities, quizzes, etc.
  • Time frame: Assign time for each task, and how learning will be implemented – per lesson, chapter, or module.
  • Alignment with stakeholders: Brief and update stakeholders on the learning goals and training delivery method choices. It is important to have the stakeholders aligned before you start to invest in content creation in the implementation phase.
  • Evaluation: Identify the feedback mechanism you will use to determine if the participants are able to digest the lessons. This may take the form of an online survey or direct feedback via emails.

3. The Development Phase

The development phase builds on both the analysis and design phases. In this phase you bring your storyboards to life and start creating the courses. Each element of the course is developed to match the design phase. The bulk of the development phase centers around the training course production in the selected eLearning authoring tools.

The development phase specifies the following:

  • Determining the delivery method: The delivery method can be in-person, online, or blended.
  • Production of the learning product: Instructional designers make sure that the learning product aligns with the specifications of the design and the findings in the skill gap and training needs assessment.
  • Design training materials: Choose the look and feel of the course, including fonts, colors, and other design elements that reflect the learning environment brand and culture.
  • Quality evaluation of the learning product: Pay attention to your quality assurance (QA) colleagues, who have the end user in mind. These team members are good at catching typos and complex structural errors. 
  • Iteration is the key: After the quality evaluation, rebuild the content per all edits until it passes all quality checks.
  • Deployment of required technology: Online video conferencing software such as Teams, Webex, Zoom, as well as the local LMS, are used to host the learning content.
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4. The Implementation Phase

The implementation phase refers to presenting and delivering the course material to your learners. This phase must promote the learners’ understanding of material, support the learners’ mastery of objectives, and ensure the transfer of knowledge from the instructional setting to the job.

Key elements of the implementation phase include:

  • Course delivery: Training course delivery via the chosen delivery method along with the delivery of other materials such as guides, manuals, or FAQs to achieve training goals and support learners.
  • Communication plan: Implementing a communication plan helps build excitement around the training intervention and understand learner challenges.
  • Paying attention to learner feedback: Paying attention to learners’ reactions to the course, hiccups in accessing the LMS, guidance requirement, achievement of learning goals helps understand the effectiveness of the course content and delivery method.

5. The Evaluation Phase

The evaluation phase measures the effectiveness and efficiency of the training course. Evaluation takes place throughout the entire instructional design process – within phases, between phases, and after implementation. In this phase, you evaluate whether or not the goals identified in the analysis phase have been achieved, and based on the answer, either forge ahead, make adjustments, or begin the ADDIE process again. 

Key elements of the evaluation phase include:

  • Collecting feedback: Learners’ feedback is collected via post-training feedback which take place directly after the training, observations that take place two to six months after the learning program, productivity data, learner surveys, learner interviews, etc.
  • Learning: Instructional designers use the evaluation phase to learn and evaluate which processes went well and which needs improvement moving forward. 
  • Points of improvement: Create a list of improvements to add to the future programs so that no learnings are lost.
  • Evaluation: Based on the feedback, evaluate to what degree the training objectives were met. Feed these results back to your stakeholders and inquire about their satisfaction with the training program. This provides an excellent input for future programs.

Alternative Versions of the ADDIE Model

ADDIE is a commonly used framework for instructional designers and course creation. However, there are a few iterative models that build on the ADDIE framework to include additional phases. Those include:


PADDIE is a modified version of the traditional ADDIE model that includes an additional step at the beginning, known as “Planning.” The acronym PADDIE stands for Plan, Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. 

The planning phase emphasizes the importance of strategic planning before diving into the detailed analysis and design stages. This phase involves setting the overall goals, defining the scope of the project, and establishing the resources, timeline, and stakeholders’ roles. 

PADDIE acknowledges that effective planning lays the foundation for a more streamlined and focused instructional design process.


PADDIE+M is an extension of the PADDIE model, incorporating an extra step called “Maintenance.” The acronym PADDIE+M stands for Plan, Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation, and Maintenance. 

The maintenance phase recognizes that learning solutions and training programs require ongoing attention even after their initial implementation. This phase involves monitoring the effectiveness of the training over time, making necessary updates to keep the content relevant and accurate, addressing any emerging issues, and ensuring that the learning experience remains aligned with evolving organizational goals and learner needs.

Benefits of the ADDIE Model

Here are a few of the most significant benefits of implementing the ADDIE model for instructional design:

1. Ensures a systematic & structured approach to instructional design

The ADDIE model provides a well-defined and systematic framework for designing and developing learning experiences. By breaking down the process into distinct phases, it guides instructional designers, educators, and trainers through a structured sequence of steps. 

This systematic approach ensures that all critical aspects of instructional design are addressed, preventing crucial elements from being overlooked or rushed. This structured nature enhances the overall quality and effectiveness of the learning program.

2. Facilitates customization to fit different learning needs

One of the strengths of the ADDIE model lies in its adaptability. It allows for customization to suit various learning needs, audience characteristics, and content types. During the analysis phase, careful assessment of the learners’ needs, preferences, and existing knowledge takes place. 

This information informs the subsequent phases, enabling designers to tailor the learning experience to match the specific requirements of the learners. Whether the audience consists of beginners, experts, visual learners, or auditory learners, the ADDIE model accommodates these differences, resulting in more engaging and relevant training materials.

3. Provides a framework for collaboration

Collaboration is a cornerstone of the ADDIE model. As different professionals contribute their expertise throughout the phases, a collaborative environment emerges. Subject matter experts, instructional designers, trainers, and learners work together to define goals, create content, and design assessments. 

This collaborative approach fosters cross-functional communication, shared insights, and a holistic understanding of the learning objectives. By involving diverse perspectives, the ADDIE model enhances the overall quality of the learning program and aligns it with the broader organizational goals.

Limitations of the ADDIE Model

Let’s discuss some of the limitations of the ADDIE model.

1. Implementation in fast-paced environments

One limitation of the ADDIE model is its potential challenge in fast-paced environments. The methodical nature of the model, with its distinct phases and emphasis on thorough analysis and planning, may not align well with situations requiring rapid development and deployment of learning solutions. 

In industries where agility and quick response to changing demands is crucial, the sequential nature of the ADDIE model might slow down the creation and delivery of training materials, potentially hindering timely learning interventions.

2. Overemphasis on planning and design leads to delays

While comprehensive planning and design are essential components of effective instructional design, an overemphasis on these phases can lead to delays in implementing training programs. 

The ADDIE model’s meticulous approach to analysis and design, while ensuring quality, might inadvertently extend the time required to launch the training. This delay could be problematic when organizations need to quickly address pressing learning needs or seize immediate opportunities.

Examples of the ADDIE Model

Here are some examples that clearly illustrate the five phases of the ADDIE model.

Example 1: Sales Training Program

Analysis Phase:

In the analysis phase, the training team identifies the need for a sales training program to improve the performance of the sales team. They conduct surveys and interviews with the sales representatives to understand their challenges and skill gaps. The goal is to align the training program with the specific needs of the sales team.

Design Phase:

During the design phase, the instructional designers create a comprehensive training plan. They define clear learning objectives, such as improving product knowledge, communication skills, and negotiation techniques. They decide on the training format, such as interactive workshops and eLearning modules. They also outline the assessments that will measure the sales representatives’ progress.

Development Phase:

In the development phase, the instructional designers and subject matter experts collaborate to create the training materials. This includes developing presentations, eLearning modules, role-playing scenarios, and assessment quizzes. The content is aligned with the learning objectives and designed to engage learners effectively.

Implementation Phase:

During the implementation phase, the sales training program is rolled out to the sales team. Workshops are conducted, and eLearning modules are made accessible through the company’s learning management system. Trainers facilitate the workshops and provide support as needed. Sales representatives participate actively in the training.

Evaluation Phase:

In the evaluation phase, the effectiveness of the training program is assessed. The sales representatives complete post-training assessments to measure knowledge retention and skills improvement. Feedback surveys are conducted to gather learners’ opinions about the training’s quality and relevance. The collected data is analyzed to identify areas for improvement in future iterations of the program.

Example 2: Software Application Training

Analysis Phase:

In the analysis phase, a company recognizes the need to train its employees on a new software application. They identify the specific roles and departments that will use the software. They also determine the level of familiarity employees have with similar applications and any potential challenges they might face during the transition.

Design Phase:

During the design phase, the training team defines the learning objectives for each user group. They outline the training approach, such as online tutorials for self-paced learning and instructor-led sessions for more complex features. They also decide on the training materials, including user manuals and interactive simulations.

Development Phase:

In the development phase, the training team creates the training materials. They develop online tutorials that guide users through basic and advanced functions of the software. They also design interactive simulations that allow users to practice using the software in a risk-free environment.

Implementation Phase:

During the implementation phase, the training materials are distributed to the employees. Online tutorials are accessible through the company’s learning portal, and instructor-led sessions are scheduled for hands-on training. Employees are encouraged to complete the training at their own pace or attend the scheduled sessions.

Evaluation Phase:

In the evaluation phase, the effectiveness of the training is assessed. The training team measures how proficiently employees use the software after completing the training. They also gather feedback through surveys to understand users’ experiences and identify areas for improvement in future software rollouts.

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Implement a digital adoption platform to simplify the instructional design process by offering a user-centric, interactive, and guided approach to learning, streamlining the creation of effective training materials. 

Through their intuitive interfaces, DAPs enable instructional designers to design and deploy interactive walkthroughs, tutorials, and simulations without extensive coding or technical expertise. 

This simplification eliminates the need for complex development cycles, allowing designers to swiftly prototype and refine training modules. By offering real-time user guidance within the context of software applications, DAPs enhance the learner’s experience, accelerate skill acquisition, and facilitate iterative improvements to training materials, ultimately expediting the entire instructional design cycle.

To learn more about Whatfix training, click here to schedule a free demo with us today!

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