Two weeks ago I started a pretty good conversation on the eLearning Guild LinkedIn discussion group. The topic was ADDIE sucks--or does it?
But here's why I really asked the question: with all the focus on faster and cheaper, and all the rapid development tools on the market, it appears to me like there's a lot of e-learning that's still just linear presentations.
Whether you use ADDIE or not, what comes from a linear presentation is more e-reading than e-learning. Remember GIGO (garbage in, garbage out)? I'll even go as far as saying that alot of e-learning/e-reading is still set in the mold of instructor led training. Slide 1 (next) slide 2 (next) slide 3 (next)...right? This may come in under budget, but what's the ROI? Isn't that our real responsibility? To impact either the top- or bottom-line?
Learning Naturally--Natural Instructional Design
Being a simple guy, I like to look at what people are willing and likely to do on their own. If you stick with what people do naturally, you're ahead of the game. And what I know is that people naturally explore--for instance, how much do you use Google, Wikipedia or YouTube? We also learn by doing, or practicing. You got good at reading and writing, riding a bike, swimming, using email--pretty much everything--by practicing, didn't you?
So I propose, in and around whatever step-by-step process you use, build in a chance for people to explore your content, and then give them a chance to practice what they've learned. ADDIE, or whatever, is just the start of effective e-learning!
The LinkedIn Discussion
In case you missed the discusion on LinkedIn, most people said that it was a useful, though general design process tool. Here are some other comments:
- It sucks. I wish we had used other e-learning models when I was in school. It isn't scalable when your client wants the work yesterday. No one wants to pay for all of research that goes into building the model, unless you are working with the Government/Gov.related. --Beth K.
- ADDIE doesn't suck, it's the universal availability of rapid tools and a basic misunderstanding of ADDIE concepts and strategies that suck. Just because learning is so ad-hoc and ephemeral today doesn't mean that we abandon some basic truths about learning and mastery. --Douglas M.
- ADDIE is the little-black-dress of instructional design models and is still relevant today despite new learning platforms and formats. --Mary I.
One of the most interesting approaches was from Nancy Munro, who uses the IMPROV model. Borowwed from improvisational comedy, Nancy's IMPROV stands for:
- Impact--the tangible business impact to achieve.
- Metric--how will you measure the impact?
- Proof--how will you prove the metric is met?
- Real World--use real world examples; tie in real job tasks.
- Ongoing--take stock of what can change and allow for it.
- Variety--use a variety of training resources
I give Nancy two thumbs up, both for having a business sense and being creative. With "Real World" she can also get at one of my main criteria for good learning, and as I said above, that's practice.
I've done some sort of design for more than four decades (architecture, graphics, photography, copy writing, training, business strategy, e-learning) and it all comes out the same to me. Design is a process of synthesis; taking things apart and putting them back together, better. I've seen iterative, revolving and start in the middle processes of three, five and seven steps.
In the end, it's whatever works for you and gets results, right?