Instructional Design: The Process – Part 2

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In the last article, we discussed ID, ISD and the various models and frameworks associated with both. The article ended with an introduction to ADDIE framework of learning design.

ADDIE Framework

Before diving head-on into creating a training, a need analysis is required to assess the training needs and skill gaps. Training could be conducted in-house or by hiring a training agency or by encouraging employees/learners to take up new courses in various universities. The identification of the skills gaps and analysis of this training or learning need is called the Analysis Phase and forms a part of the discovery phase of project management.

Analysis or Discovery Phase

In the discovery phase, following activities could be involved:

  • Identifying goals and objectives;
  • Taking stock of the existing assets, training, and source material etc.;
  • Conducting various analyses; and
  • Closing the discussion by
    • identifying the solution,
    • allocating the team,
    • deciding the training modality, and
    • defining the project plan and deliverables.
  • What trainings are required to up skill the workforce?
  • What trainings are available in-house?
  • What training are to be created/updated?
  • What is the training effectiveness measure?
Deliverables of Analysis Phase

Each phase has certain deliverables which act as the precursor of the next phase. The deliverables of this phase are:

  • Approach Document
  • Training Need Analysis Report
    • Content analysis
    • Required Skill matrix (Existing and gaps)
    • Performance gaps and training requirements
    • Terminal objectives and enabling objectives
    • Training methodology and resources
  • Documents including the following information:
    • Understanding the requirements based on the identified training needs
    • Proposed training solution
    • Proposed instructional strategies
    • Cost estimates for the solution
    • Turnaround time
Design Phase

As the analysis phase ends, a lot of clarity is achieved on the training goal, terminal and enabling objectives. These inputs help in defining the following:

  • Learning modality and materials – ILT (instructor-led training), WBT/CBT (web-based or computer-based training), or blended learning with virtual classroom
  • Course structure – sequencing, chunking, linear, modular etc.
  • Learning activities – interactions and activities with the expected outcomes

A design document is created and shared with the stakeholders. There could be a walk through to explain the flow and the ideas.

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Design Document would include:

  • Learning objectives that are measurable – SMART objectives
  • Delivery methodology
  • Instructional strategies
  • Learning activities design linked to the objectives
  • Evaluation strategies
Deliverables of this phase

This phase is like creating a blueprint of the building before actual construction begins. The learning design is finalised and approved before the actual course construction begins. The design phase delivers:

  • Enhanced content outline(ECO) or table of content(TOC)
  • Terminal and enabling objectives statement
  • Modifications and additions to the content
  • Additional evaluation content
  • Graphic User Interface (GUI) design
Development Phase

This phase is the actual building of the course. All the knowledge from previous phases is shaped into a relevant course for the learners. The main activities of this phase include, but are not limited to:

Storyboard Design or ILT Deck

Create a Storyboard for eLearning including the following information:

  • Storyboard based on the design document using the appropriate instructional strategies
  • Scripting the audio and dialogues
  • Creating and finalising layouts, themes and user interface (UI)
  • Deciding navigation strategies for an eLearning course

The storyboard is a visual representation of the course. It contains a description of each screen of the course using textual descriptions. A storyboard covers all content and navigation of the course and indicates the media elements such as graphics and animations.

Media Creation and construction – Upon completion of the storyboard, media elements such as graphics/illustrations and interactions are created or sourced and the course is developed in Flash XML or HTML5 formats using various authoring tools or frameworks. The output from this activity is the media files. In the construction phase elements, such as text and media are put together and compiled to create the first version of the course – called the first cut or alpha version.

Recording of Voice Over – Voice samples of the panel of professional artists is selected and the VO for the course is recorded. The VO acts as a supplement to the text and graphics appearing on screens of each module in the course.

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Construction – Finally, the voice over recording is integrated with the course to create a beta version or second cut. After all testing and fixes, the final version is delivered.

Deliverables of this phase
  • Detailed Storyboard (on MS Word or visual on PPT) with audio script or trainer notes for Modifications
  • Media Files like visual deck, WBT, audio files or any videos to be integrated with the course
  • First Cut for internal quality check, followed by stakeholder check and feedback
Implementation Phase

This the rollout phase where the course is ready to be delivered to the target audience. The main activities in this phase include, but are not limited to:

  1. Develop a Launch Plan Timeline
  2. Train the Trainer (in case of ILT or blended learning)
  3. Place the Training Tools on LMS etc.
  4. Send out Teasers and Registration Guidelines
  5. Register Participants
  6. Launch Course

There are different steps for:

  • A classroom course (ILT)
    • Course Material – Will it be locally printed, shipped or soft copy used?
    • Instructors – Is TTT planned and all instructors calibrated? Is the training in-house or trainers hired? Will the trainers require to travel?
    • Schedule – Location, date, time, schedule planned and communicated
    • Travel, Registration, Logistics – Is the team planning these aspects?
  • An E-learning initiative (WBT or CBT)
    • Testing, Hosting, and Integration – Is the course tested in the alpha phase to eliminate bugs? Were the LMS and platform reviews completed and audio files and videos integrated into the learning tutorials? Was it tested before the Beta version sent to the client for review? Was LMS integration and bandwidth planned?
    • Learner Access – Will there be an enrollment? Would it be on Intranet of Internet?
    • Security and Helpdesk – Are the resources planned for maintaining IT security and helpline?
Deliverables of this phase
  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Final or Gold
Evaluation Phase

Evaluation is done throughout the ADDIE process at each stage. The story boarding or ILT deck goes through ID, edit, and functional reviews before the course go to the media for development.

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A learner evaluation is also done during the learning phase. Assessments and activities are important to learning as they determine the learning effectiveness and evaluate and confirm if the learning objectives have been met. Assessments or exercises form an important part of any course. Strategically placed and interactive assessments test the user’s learning of concepts. There usually are two types of assessments – formative and summative. Formative assessments are carried out during the course and appear as inline questions/self-checks or practice items. Summative assessment, at the end of the course, ascertains the level of internalization of learning by the learner.

In this phase, the organisation/learning and development team also evaluate the effectiveness of the training by taking feedback from the learners. Evaluation is done using Kirkpatrick’s Evaluation model, most often Level 1 and 2 only. Future learning aids for continual development is provided at this phase, which could include job aids, setup of peer to peer interaction units for thought sharing, setup of mentor and guidance facilities etc.


Though this is an age of rapid authoring and dubmash videos with people creating tutorials and videos on the go, professional designing is still much in demand. The demand for bespoke designs for various learning needs is on the rise. ADDIE can be used as a mix between the waterfall and the agile models of project development, with consecutive phases running concomitantly or sometimes overlapping.

It is important to follow a process of learning development for creating effective learning. This quick guide makes it easy to create a checklist and ensure that all steps are effectually applied for developing a learning to bridge the skills and learning gaps.


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