The ADDIE Model in a Nutshell

The ADDIE Model is the foundation of the instructional design process. ADDIE stands for analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. It’s generic in the sense that virtually all other instructional design models are based on it. Understanding it will give you a picture of what it takes to fully design instruction.

That being said, in reality ADDIE is not always used in its entirety for instructional design. It really depends on the circumstances. For librarians though, the ADDIE model can serve as a guide for the design and development of a full scale information literacy program.

Here’s ADDIE in a nutshell, with the kinds of questions you might ask when designing an information literacy program:


The Analysis stage is the research you take and the decisions you make that will inform your learning needs, instructional delivery and design. This is where you start, but you will also revisit Analysis along the way and modify as the need arises. For the analysis of an information literacy program, ask yourself the following questions (answering the questions will require assessment and research):

  • What learning outcomes are we looking for?
  • What do the students need to learn? What do they already know?
  • What are the students’ characteristics? What are their learning motivations?
  • How will the learning outcomes align with course curricula?
  • How will we deliver the instruction? What constraints might impact instructional delivery (e.g. time, equipment, physical space)?
  • How will we measure learning outcomes?
  • What constraints will impact design, development and implementation (e.g. staff, expertise, technology resources)?


During the Design stage, you create the instructional plan using the information gathered from the Analysis stage. The Design stage falls into three primary categories:

  • Task design (or task analysis): What steps will be required for students to meet the learning outcomes? It’s easiest to write these as instructional objectives and sub-objectives because you will be measuring them. A great tool for this is the Bloom’s Taxonomy interactive wheel.
  • Content design: What content will be included? How much content? Is the content aligned to the objectives? Will the content facilitate the learning outcomes?
  • Instructional strategy design: What strategies will be used to facilitate learning? Here are some strategy sources that are particularly relevant to information literacy:
  • Interface design: What will the final instructional deliverables look like (e.g. handouts, screencasts, PowerPoint slides, interactive tutorials)? Consider this the storyboarding stage.


During the Development stage, the instructional deliverables are created. This is a team effort. For example, one person might create graphics, another audio clips and another interface development. This is also the stage where you conduct usability testing, and make initial modifications as needed.


During the Implementation stage, you deliver the instruction to the learners for the first time. You will get feedback from the learners on usability of interface and understand-ability of content (i.e. did content delivery confuse learners?). You will likely find ‘bugs’ in the instruction, which may result in anything from simple tweaks (that’s your hope) to a full-on redesign (that’s not your hope).


In the Evaluation stage, you get feedback on the effectiveness of the instruction. Did learners meet the learning outcomes? If an adequate number learners were able to meet the learning outcomes (e.g. 80%), then the instruction is deemed successful. However, good instructional design is iterative in nature, and evaluation is an ongoing process. Expect periodical modifications to instructional content and strategies to be needed.


5 thoughts on “The ADDIE Model in a Nutshell

  1. This is a functional model that matches processes that I have considered to be absolutely critical to the understanding of how children learn. It is a process with which I totally agree and over the years have employed to track the growth of my students learning both in general and in particular.

    It is a superior algorithm/summary and I appreciate the article.

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