Friday, August 31, 2007

Compatibility of ADDIE Model of Instructional Design with User Centered Design

As most of you readers know, my career within the last eight years started with designing training programs. Later, it moved to designing training programs to support software and web technologies. Shortly after that it transitioned to my current career where I know support the design and development of software and web technologies using the tools and techniques a training developer or performance improvement specialist would to create and effective solution.

I was e-mailed a question not long ago where I was asked my opinion on whether or not the ADDIE model of instructional design (a method to develop training) was compatible with user-centered design.

I thought I would share my answer to this question to see if I could garner support for my theory or spur some nice, healthy debate:

I think they are very compatible, but each of their intended purpose is different. ADDIE is targeted toward the development of instructional materials and content while UCD is focused on developing software or web-based applications that are designed around the target audience’s needs (tasks, objectives and obstacles they wish to overcome).

With that said, there is no reason why UCD can’t be applied to ADDIE – it simply would be concentrated in the A (analysis) and the first D (design) of ADDIE. This is provided, of course, the outcome you are trying to achieve is an instructional product delivered in an electronic format (software or web-based). I see that happening quite a bit where a lot of instructional materials and content are being delivered in web-based or electronic performance support systems these days.

The fruits of your labor using UCD in the A and D portion of ADDIE will manifest themselves in the D (development) and I (implementation) portions of the model. E, to me, is where usability testing comes in.

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