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Creating training and development programs: using the ADDIE method

Milton Mayeld

irms need an appropriately skilled workforce for maximum effectiveness, and many increasingly use in-house development and training programs to meet this need (Barlow, 2006). However, managers often have difculty in creating such programs. Analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (ADDIE) is a framework useful for examining, creating, and implementing development and learning programs.

Milton Mayeld is Associate Professor of Management, Division of International Business and Technology Studies, Sanchez School of Business, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas, USA.

The ADDIE model is more a development process umbrella than specic steps for creating a training program (Molenda, 2003). However, ADDIE has become an extremely popular framework for training-program creation. A Google Scholar search nds over 7,000 articles and books discussing ADDIE, and nearly 400 articles and books on ADDIE in the business eld alone. These numbers are especially impressive considering the rst ADDIE discussion was in 1996 (Molenda, 2003). Despite its relatively recent emergence among learning models, ADDIE is being used by many instructors, trainers, universities, and even the American Society for Training and Development. This widespread acceptance shows the models utility as a development and learning framework. Perhaps ADDIEs most valuable aspect is in providing developers with a consistent process to follow. This road map aids planning and reduces uncertainty (and anxiety) when creating new instructional modules. With repeated use, designers can anticipate potential problem areas across different learning modules thus reducing each applications learning curve. ADDIE is also an iterative process, where each phase can suggest improvements in earlier phases. This attribute encourages designers to monitor instructional development and evaluate whether results fulll learning goals. The models iterative nature also lends itself to rapid prototyping. A learning model can be deployed, feedback gained from learners, adjustments made at the appropriate ADDIE stage, and the module updated to better match instructional goals. Using ADDIE also facilitates collaborative development. Designers using ADDIE have a common understanding of development steps, and communicate better it promotes a shared creation process. Additionally, ADDIEs iterative nature aids distributing creation tasks; different members can take specic creation phases rather than requiring all designers to participate in each step. In this way, each members strength is best utilized. Details on each ADDIE phase are as follows.

In this stage the designer sets learning goals. Results from prior learning modules evaluation stages should be used for this phases input. A major outcome from this phase is specic learning goal targets what skills, knowledge, and abilities participants must gain. This phase also requires determining available resources for learning module deployment, participant learning characteristics, and alternate delivery methods trade-offs. This stage

DOI 10.1108/14777281111125363

VOL. 25 NO. 3 2011, pp. 19-22, Q Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1477-7282



Firms need an appropriately skilled workforce for maximum effectiveness, and many increasingly use in-house development and training programs to meet this need.

provides clear guidelines on what is needed and possible for the module. When some learning goals cannot be met, new resources must be secured, or learning goals must be altered.

In this phase specic learning objectives are identied. Additionally, instructional methods, materials, and delivery system types are selected. This phase sets the trainings strategy how instructional methods will accomplish specic learning goals. The design phase is used to gauge whether learning objectives meet learning goals, and whether instructional methods accomplish the learning objectives. It is much easier to alter generic learning plans during this stage than redeveloping specic instructional activities created later.

In this phase, developers create the learning content. This content includes the overall learning framework (such as an e-learning system), exercises, lectures, simulations, or other appropriate training material. This phase generates the tangible output used in training. It is the last chance to make necessary corrections before delivering the learning module. A helpful tactic in this phase is to make a training test run to determine if learning goals are met, and aligned with the design phases strategy.

This phase is the realization of the previous phases. Materials are given to learners, and the learning module is utilized for its intended purpose. This phases main utility is in implementing the learning process. However, it is also signicant in identifying discrepancies (such as a gap between desired knowledge development and actual development) for future improvements.

During this nal phase, creators assess learning goal achievement, training efciency, technical problems that hinder learning, and any new learning opportunities identied during the implementation phase. This phase is vital because when taken seriously it provides information for improving the training programs next iteration, and may suggest new training avenues for further development (Allen, 2006; Molenda, 2003). To better illustrate the ADDIE process, it is presented graphically (along with questions a developer can answer at each stage) in Figure 1, and through an example in the following paragraphs. To demonstrate ADDIE, a quality management training program example is presented. Developers in the analysis phase decide participants should gain a basic understanding of quality management. The trainings major restriction is being limited to a three day seminar. Participants are line workers and rst-line supervisors without formal exposure to quality methods. In the design phase, specic learning goals are set as having participants understand Demings 14 key principles, how to measure output variation, and team methods for developing quality improvement ideas. In this example, the development phase is partially predetermined the training will take place through a face-to-face program in an


Figure 1 A graphical representation of the ADDIE process


1. 2. 3. 4.

What are the learning goals? What are the learners characteristics? What resources are available? How should the module be delivered?


1. What are the learning objectives? 2. What instructional methods will be used? 3. Do the objectives meet the learning goals?


1. What learning framework is most appropriate? 2. What materials will be used? 3. Will the materials meet the learning objectives?


1. Are instructional methods being delivered appropriately? 2. Are there discrepancies that can be corrected during this phase? 3. What new training issues become apparent?


1. 2. 3. 4.

How well were learning goals met? How efficient were the training methods? Were there any technical problems? Are there any new training opportunities?

off-site facility with only basic audio-visual equipment. Beyond these strictures, the designers decide that each topic will be covered on a separate day. The training will be a combination of lecture, hands-on demonstrations, and peer feedback. Needed materials and evaluation methods are also created during this phase. Training is conducted during the implementation phase, and the designers note discrepancies between planned and actual training. The designers discover that most participants had exposure to quality methods, and more training goals could have been set. It is also decided that less time is needed on variation testing training and more on Demings principles. These insights are used in the evaluation phase, where the designers examine the trainings effectiveness. Overall, the training was deemed successful, with participants meeting previously established learning metrics. However, evaluations also indicate that to maximize learning variation testing needed less time and Demings principles needed more. Additionally, the information covered could be increased, and the developers will work with management to select possible new topics.


Keywords: Training, Training methods, Learning

In conclusion, the ADDIE model is a valuable framework for developing all types of training and development programs. It offers a structure that aids individual and collaborative instructional development, and each phase provides a foundation for building upon and rening learning goals. Finally, it promotes a learning cycle where knowledge gained in one training module improves the creation of another.

Allen, W.C. (2006), Overview and evolution of the ADDIE training system, Advances in Developing Human Resources, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 430-41. Barlow, L. (2006), Talent development: the new imperative?, Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 6-9. Molenda, M. (2003), In search of the elusive ADDIE model, Performance Improvement, Vol. 42 No. 5, pp. 34-7.

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