25. The ADDIE Model

25.2. Where is ADDIE Used?

This is a design model used by many professional instructional designers for technology-based teaching. ADDIE has been almost a standard for professionally developed, high-quality distance education programs, whether print-based or online. It is also heavily used in corporate e-learning and training. There are many variations on this model (my favorite is ‘PADDIE’, where planning and/or preparation are added at the start). The model is mainly applied on an iterative basis, with evaluation leading to re-analysis and further design and development modifications. One reason for the widespread use of the ADDIE model is that it is extremely valuable for large and complex teaching designs. ADDIE’s roots go back to the Second World War and derive from system design, which was developed to manage the hugely complex Normandy landings.

Many open universities, such as the U.K. Open University and the OU of the Netherlands, Athabasca University and Thompson Rivers Open University in Canada, still  make heavy use of ADDIE to manage the design of complex multi-media distance education courses. When the U.K. OU opened in 1971 with an initial intake of 20,000, it used radio, television, specially designed printed modules, textbooks, reproduced research articles in the form of selected readings that were mailed to students, and regional study groups, with teams of often 20 academics, media producers and technology support staff developing courses, and with delivery and learner support provided by an army of regional tutors and senior counselors. Creating and delivering its first courses within two years of receiving its charter would have been impossible without a systematic instructional design model, and in 2014, with over 200,000 students, the OU was still using the ADDIE approach for many of its courses.

Although ADDIE and instructional design, in general, originated in the USA, the U.K. Open University’s success in developing high-quality learning materials influenced many more institutions that were offering distance education on a much smaller scale to adopt the ADDIE model, if in a more modest way, typically with a single instructor working with an instructional designer. As distance education courses became increasingly developed as online courses, the ADDIE model continued, and is now being used by instructional designers in many institutions for the re-design of large lecture classes, hybrid learning, and for fully online courses.