What approach do you apply for Instructional Design: Agile Vs. ADDIE

Many corporate training and development departments find it difficult to meet the increasing volume of training requests.

There’s been a great debate for the last few years about whether or not the ADDIE model of instructional design is too slow for today’s speed of business. To refresh your memory, ADDIE stands for analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

Many industry experts now recommend agile instructional design, based on the proven success of agile software development. It utilizes a more iterative approach to bring learning products and content to market faster.

In reality, it’s not one or the other if you are looking for the best way to streamline instructional design. Depending on requirements, both ADDIE and agile instructional design have their place.

For certain types of learning projects, where the deliverables are complex curriculum or certification-based training, ADDIE may be the best way to start. When the analysis phase needs to connect all of the parts of a multi-day or multi-week course or program, it’s difficult to jump right into agile instructional design. That’s why academic designers who build foundational knowledge taught over an extended period of time use ADDIE as the initial framework. And why corporate learning designers, who build programs to certify engineers and technicians, or for high stakes compliance, follow the same initial approach.

But this doesn’t mean that agile instructional design has no place in corporate learning and development. Even if you start with ADDIE for the analysis and design phases on longer cycle development projects, you can use many of the concepts and techniques of agile instructional design to expedite the development, implementation and evaluation phases. For performance support or on the job moment of need requirements, agile instructional design is a great way to manage the entire process.

Agile instructional design requires changes to corporate training and development departments. Agile instructional design, like agile software development, emphasizes specific practices to increase the speed and quality of content development. One of the most important is continuous collaboration with subject matter experts (SMEs).

Unfortunately this is an area where corporate training and development departments often struggle and where a learning design system can help.

By automating instructional design, you can relieve much of the burden on your SMEs. By providing an integrated tool that streamlines instructional design, you can engage your SMEs on a continuous basis. While we would all like to have more face-to-face meetings, business demands mean you need to find new ways to collaborate with subject matter experts.

Choosing an instructional design framework doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of how to scale instructional design. But in today’s rapidly changing business environment and the mobile-first world, agile instructional design can help you to better meet the needs of the business.

The issue is not the skill of instructional design. But, the old model of corporate training and development taking weeks and months designing and creating content for all types of learning experiences simply doesn’t scale.

Design-to-delivery has to be faster. Concept-to-content has to be faster. New approaches and technologies are needed.

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What approach do you apply for Instructional Design: Agile Vs. ADDIE