ADDIE – Dead or Alive?

What more can another individual add to this conversation . . . well lots. However, instead of giving a lot of background I am going to state firmly that ADDIE is not dead. ADDIE is not outdated, ADDIE does not make your training perform poorly, and it certainly does not make it lack motivation.

However if you were to tell me that people were the issue I would more strongly pay attention. How can a process perform poorly? Application and execution of a process can be done well and it can be done horribly wrong.

I presented on this subject recently and spent 3 months reading every blog, forum discussion thread, article, scholarly publication, and even books. Yet, none talk about the people that play a pivotal role in developing learning products. Whether it is the client, the SME, the ID, the graphic designer, you name it – they all play a part in making that training something more than a boring page-turner.

Will a soufflé turn out as beautifully by the hands of first-time baker as it will a master chef? Probably not.

So for those that are concerned that you are missing the boat on this trending topic – you are not. I advocate a more broad-based discussion that includes and acknowledges more than just the process or model. Lastly, if this particular method is dead – where is the proof? I’ve yet to find hard numbers and facts or even valid research that directly ties cookie cutter training issues, learning programs that lack evaluation and engagement to ADDIE (or insert whatever other issue folks like to blame on ADDIE).

We have opinions (much like mine), observations, and shared experiences that are being used to push an agenda that is, to me, worthless. I think a more productive conversation might revolve around novice instructional designers and what we can do to acclimate their skills more rapidly (if that is even a possibility given that time and experience are what shape the ID’s competencies for the most part). Nurturing and cultivating an ID to be adept at not only being able to leverage whatever ISD process and ID model they like would be a great first pass. However, those skills need to be developed in combination with management (of self and project), communication, and soft-skills such as client relations.

If you happen to be part of a group of folks evaluating your methods currently I suggest auditing your department or team. Individual assets and team alike. Also take stock of future goals for individuals and your team and how that strategy plays into serving your clients. Not to mention individual and team adopted processes and policies, etc. Perhaps a new method is warranted and perhaps it is not. Either way, just don’t waste time attempting to find an answer to what model is better (or not) for how you approach the task of creating educational materials. Open up and take a broader view – audit and perform a needs analysis.

These are my off-the-cuff thoughts after my presentation. I have very clear ideas in which we can have another conversation that would be more utilitarian to our field and industry, but until folks open up to the ideal that this is a much larger discussion than one about processes and models we are going to have contention that provides no ability to focus on what is truly important. That being the actual creation of a training product and all key stakeholders that contribute to it.