Instructional Design: Using the ADDIE Model

What is Instructional Design?

An Instructional Design Model is the framework used to create practical training. While there are many ID models and processes, many of their components are similar. They include analysis, design, development, and evaluation. Let's explore the top Model of instructional design.

The ADDIE Model

ADDIE design model of instructional designADDIE stands for analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. It is the most commonly used and widely accepted instructional design model in the e-learning industry. The ADDIE design approach is flexible and works for traditional instruction, individual institutions, web-based instruction, and across various industries. ADDIE is also the most competent approach if your team needs to incorporate goals and measurements into your training program.

Why Use an Instructional Design Model?

Is it possible to create an online course with little or no instructional design experience? It is possible to create an online course with limited instructional design experience. However, subject matter expertise is not enough by itself. You need to employ a competent instructional design team to gather and organize information from the subject matter expert and create a learning plan that will chunk the information into smaller segments so that students will be able to follow along. This "chunking" strategy is a common technique used to help create achievable milestones for students and to scaffold the learning. Each segment builds on the prior knowledge that the students have mastered.

It's the instructional designer's job to take the SME's knowledge and translate it into a learning experience. It's the SME's job (or volunteer duty) to be a resource for the ID while they design the program. Online instruction needs to work in the absence of a live instructor, so the primary way it differs from in-person training materials is that it's fully stand-alone. The first thing to make sure of is that in text-and-diagram only format, the course makes sense. If you can't make the course work at the sentence level, it won't work no matter how much interaction or bells and whistles you put on it.

Building an Online Course

Online courses consist of several varying levels of activity and student interaction. SilkWeb’s online courses follow industry-standard best practices for online education. All online courses should share compatible features in their design, regardless of the topic area. Our course development implements the following eight best practices into each online course:

  1. Set and express expectations and timelines requiring consistent participation.

This supports active student involvement in the course and a better learning experience. As opposed to a classroom setting where students are accustomed to a routine of attending weekly classes, turning in assignments, and periodic tests, online courses do not necessarily have that consistency. While you plan your course, you may want to include weekly assignments – either discussion boards or actual reading and writing assignments for students. This will help your students maintain regular participation and help organize their involvement in the course.

  1. Create a course menu that includes links to content to which you want students to always have easy access.

Each of us has specific ways to organize the items we need at hand when we are teaching or learning – for example, books and other resources you use. Easily accessible links to tools and resources that need to be made available throughout the course make this easier. For example, course policies, syllabus, reading assignments, and discussion boards.

Institutions can adopt a college-wide standard, which helps students navigate new courses easily.

  1. Avoid unnecessary navigation.

The least number of clicks to get to content and resources is best, as it helps students orient themselves in the course and avoids them getting lost with too many clicks.

  1. Break up content onscreen in a way that helps sustain student attention.

You can use different types of onscreen content, including videos, downloadable texts, outside websites, podcasts, images and collaborative tools to keep students engaged while learning online.

  1. Write to your online course.

People read differently online. The majority of people do not read websites word-for-word – they scan the page and pick out words and sentences. Be concise by reducing word count, present one concept per paragraph, and use bullet lists and subheadings to break up and organize content. Break up long pages into several pages.

  1. Keep design elements consistent and simple.

Use the same heading styles, fonts, colors and paragraph styles on each page. Repetition of design elements and objects with the same layout will help students orient themselves on the page and within the course content. Create or use icons that easily identify elements in your course. For example, always use the same icon to identify links to videos.

  1. Use graphics and images purposefully.

Two major types of graphics to use in your course are 1) instructional and 2) navigational.

  • Instructional graphics include images, tables, diagrams, photos and other teaching elements that complete or complement the actual content.
  • Navigational graphics include the use of icons, headings, and images that help orient students and assist in the navigation of the course.
  • Some additional tips to keep in mind for images:
    • Keep it simple.
    • Don’t use background images.
    • Save images in the correct format (.jpg is best) and reduce the size of files.
    • Crop unnecessary parts of your images.
    • Add ALT texts to identify images for the visually impaired.
  1. Become a student!

Once you have created your content, it is a good idea to sign on to the course as a student and navigate the course as if you were taking your course. This will give you an idea as to whether you have organized the content in a logical manner, have addressed your learning objectives in a way conducive to learning and ensured that your content is engaging as you view it on a screen rather than in the traditional classroom environment.