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  • Writer's pictureMichelle D Rogers

ADDIE be Gone!

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

In reality I have nothing against ADDIE. It has its time and place as all instructional system design (ISD) models do. This said, I get weary of hearing instructional designers arguing the merits of one ISD model over all others. In the words of John Dewey, people are prone to sitting in camps of 'either-or'. This or that. Mine is better than yours. Us and them.


Linear Fixed Models are so 2000


The either-or approach is not one of merit for an instructional designer. It locks them in and steals the agility they need to design with the times.


If I build a house I do not decide hammers are the best tool, and try to use a hammer for everything. I have a tool box, full of tools, and each has different uses for different needs and different building approaches and methods. If I want to build the best house possible I choose the right methods, right approaches, and right tools for the right job - and I do not decide on what those are BEFORE I have even looked at the project goals (in this example, the architectural designs). It is the same for eLearning and mLearning instructional designers. Look at your goals first, then choose your methods, tools and approaches that best suit achieving those goals. This includes the design model you will use!


As I have said before, and I will say again: there is NO one-size-fits-all design for online learning. There is the right design for the right needs. Some contexts will warrant a different design approach than others to achieve the best outcomes. ISD professionals have a large tool box of different design approaches and methods, each with its own pros and cons, and each right for a different context.


Any decent ISD model starts with analysis. So, start with that outside of all the models and frameworks. First just analyze your context, the learning goals, the technology capabilities, the infrastructure, connectivity, technology devices, etc. Then choose the right ISD model, approach, and tools that will achieve those goals.


Keep your eye on the ball.


The point of ISD is not to stick adherently to one design model. The goal is to create interactive, well designed, focused learning that helps the participants reach their learning objectives and that fits in with the overall style and spirit of that particular learning program. It does not matter what ISD model you use so long as you achieve that.


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