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Introduction to ADDIE

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ADDIE: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate. This module takes you through a basic introduction to one of the most widely used instructional design approaches.

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Now that you have viewed the module video and learned more about the basics of ADDIE, let’s dig a bit deeper into each of the five steps and see how they apply to online language instruction.  Where appropriate, you will be directed to other modules in the ACTFL Distance Learning Special Interest Group Online Mentoring Program.   


As you learned in the video, the design and development of your online course will be much smoother if you take the time to conduct a proper analysis.  There are typically four types of analyses to conduct.
A needs assessment, especially in corporate settings, is conducted to determine whether instruction is needed at all.  As future online instructors, we may find that students wish for more flexibility in course offerings, which can oftentimes be accomplished by offering an online course.  Another possibility is that a language course is offered regularly in a face-to-face environment, but not enough students are available to take it at any of the scheduled times.  An online offering might make it possible for more students to take the course asynchronously. There may also be faculty interest in teaching online.  

An analysis of the learning context provides valuable information.  This includes looking at existing language curricula, with the intent of understanding how an online course fit into an existing sequence of courses and a preferred approach to language instruction.  Analyzing available technology, such as an institution’s current Learning Management System, software and hardware is key to successful online course development and implementation.  Finally, instructors should become familiar with the general infrastructure associated with online course development at the institution.  

An analysis of the learner is also essential.  Learning preferences, availability of technology, learners’ prior knowledge upon entering a course and their general motivation are all aspects to consider.  Finally, conducting a task or content analysis by becoming aware of the learning outcomes students should achieve by the end of the course will ensure solid learning objectives are created during the Design stage.  

For more information about analysis, see the “ADDIE Part II: Nuts and Bolts of ADDIE and Backward Design” module.  


The design stage is for planning instruction.  Once you know enough about your learners, the context and the task/content, you will be able to write learning objectives.  From there, you may plan assessment to determine whether or not learners have reached the objectives.  After this, choose learning strategies to support learners as they work toward meeting the objectives.  Finally, choose appropriate instructional media and technology to support learning.   

There are many modules which address the design stage of the instructional design process.  For more information, see the following modules:  

- Best Practices for Online Course Design
- Designing activities in the 3 communication modes with online tools
- Tenets of Communicative Language Teaching & Core Practices
- Formative and Summative Assessment Online
- Project-Based Learning
- Content-Based Learning and Teaching culture  


It is tempting to want to dive right into the development of an online course without first analyzing or designing it.  It can be so much fun to create new documents, videos, assessments!  However, the amount of time that can be wasted by not analyzing or designing properly can be immense.   

Once you have determined the objectives, means of assessment, instructional strategies, and instructional media you will use in your instruction, it is time to take this plan and put it into action.  If existing media are of a high quality, use or adapt them.  There is no need to recreate the wheel.  In some cases, you may wish to create documents, videos or other instructional products on your own.  The Analyze step will have hopefully helped you to identify the resources on campus, including personnel, that can aid you in this process.   

Many of the modules cited above in the Design section are applicable to the development of online language instruction.  It is encouraged that you view any of those if you are interested in learning more about development.  For more specific information related to tools you may choose when developing your course, see “Platform / LMS and platform tools and capabilities to facilitate language learning”  


It is rather typical for an online course to be completely designed and ready to go before the start of a semester.  This does not mean, however, that your job is over once the course has begun.  It is important to be present in your course and guide students during the process.  Good online instruction involves not just design and development, but guidance and scaffolding for learners throughout the entire teaching and learning experience. 
For more information on how to effectively implement your online language instruction, see either “Establishing a Teacher Presence” or “Tips for Effective Online Teaching”  


The Evaluate step is listed at the end of the five steps of ADDIE.  However, it takes place throughout the entire process.   

Formative evaluation happens during the analysis, design and development of the course.  By conducting a formative evaluation of your instruction with important stakeholders, such as with your instructional design team, your fellow faculty members, and potential students, you will realize where your instruction should be revised before it reaches its intended audience.  

Summative evaluation occurs at the end of the instructional design process.  A proper summative evaluation will provide information that will enable you to revise your course in such a way as to be more effective, efficient and engaging for future students.   

For more information on evaluation, see the “Program Evaluation” module.   
More links to help you think about ADDIE:

ADDIE Model Explained (Infographic)
Instructional Design Models: ADDIE

Remember we talked about the real-life application of ADDIE in the video. Think back to your real-life experience and use this template to help you apply ADDIE to an instructional context.

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