The ADDIE framework of Instructional Design and Curriculum Development continuously changes based upon the scope of the learning project as well as its identified learning audience. Custom learning solutions can be developed using the action steps listed in the ADDIE model.

The ADDIE model includes the following phases:

  • Analyze
  • Design
  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

These phases typically occur in order, although evaluation occurs throughout the entire process; not just at the end. Those who are familiar with project management in web design and development, web marketing, or ad agencies, already know that this technique is similar to what we call a “waterfall” process in other industries. A lot of web companies essentially use ADDIE by a different name:

  • Discover (Analyze)
  • Design
  • Development
  • Deployment (Implementation)
  • Maintenance (Evaluation)

If anyone is interested in seeing how this model was used by my former colleagues, you can check out this video to get an idea:

Transitioning to AGILE and Rapid Development

In both industries, some people argue that this process should be replaced with newer trends, like AGILE development and shorter “sprints” to launch projects quicker. A more recent video overview of this process with AGILE can be found here:

While those videos are created for the web industry, you can imagine how these same steps might be applied to training or any industry where you manage large-scale, ongoing, long-term projects for stakeholders. AGILE and the Rapid eLearning model have been gaining popularity in recent years and are fairly common models across a wide range of industries that deal with large-scale projects utilizing digital technologies.

Is AGILE / Rapid eLearning Right For You?

AGILE and Rapid eLearning take a “just in time” approach to learning. This rapid model is becoming an industry go-to favorite model, although it’s not a perfect fit for every organization, training class, or audience. It’s important to evaluate which learning model is best for your project and proceed from there.


  • Timely delivery of a high-quality final project
  • Timely development cycle of learning solutions (decreased development time)
  • Reduced need for outsourcing; no need for a large eLearning development team
  • Rapid eLearning authoring tools include pre-built templates, themes, images, and interactions that you can immediately integrate into your eLearning course design
  • Less stressful and easier to update
  • Instructional Designers can create powerful, relevant eLearning experiences, giving students constant access to online training material catering to their specific needs.
  • Learners are able to learn quicker and with more convenience with rapid eLearning courses
  • Projects are easier to manage
  • Less tedious
  • Instructional Designers can learn new skills and be more productive


  • Potential impact upon the end user’s learning experience could include: reduced learner attentiveness and diminished learning process.
  • Courses that use pre-made graphics and templates can become redundant or less interesting over time. To remedy this, Instructional Designers should be mindful not to overuse the same template, design, graphics and themes too frequently.
  • Similar to the above bullet point, courses that overuse pre-mad graphics, templates, designs, and themes can actually make it difficult for a learner to separate a previous learning experience from the current one.
  • There may be reduced quality and output due to the Instructional Designer taking over responsibilities from other roles, such as graphic designers or consultants
  • There may be quality assurance issues or “bugs” that are not caught by the Instructional Designer prior to launching the learning product
  • “Rapid” does not always mean “best.”
  • Sometimes, organizations are so rushed to finish the curriculum that the learning experience becomes less effective or lower quality
  • Skipping phases that are included in other instructional design models may create a gap in learner analysis