Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
TEACH Symposiuim

TEACH Symposium returning soon

The TEACH Symposium will pop up again November 30 to December 4, 2020. 

Learn more

ADDIE: An Online Course Design Model

When designing any course, it is important to understand the learning context and learners' needs, why you will engage them in certain kinds of activities, and what support the learners will need to achieve the goals of the course. The best way to do this is through observed or gathered feedback on the students' and instructors' experience of the course. And especially for online courses, it's critical to give careful attention to the learning experience regarding usability and user interaction with the course environment.

Learning and course design are complex and it can be difficult to keep track of all of these considerations. Thankfully there are systematic methodologies you can use to organize this process.

ADDIE is a foundational instructional design methodology that provides a structure for reliably creating effective learning experiences for you and your students. ADDIE stands for: 

  • Analyze: This first step in the course design process encourages instructors to analyze their class's learning needs by identifying who you anticipate the learners in your class will be and what the outcomes and goals of your class are.
  • Design: Map out exactly what your course outcomes will be (i.e. what do you expect students to be able to do and know by the time the class is over). Build your syllabus and map out your course schedule.
  • Development: Create your course learning activities and assignments in line with your course syllabus and schedule.
  • Implement: Deliver your class in whatever mix of modalities you wind up choosing, paying attention to how students are receiving the course content, and responding along the way.
  • Evaluate: Ask students for feedback on their learning experience (even after an individual activity) and start the ADDIE process over again to iterate and revise course material.

The reality of building and improving a course tends to be incremental and iterative, so expect to move through these different phases at different times for various elements of the course. For example, you may be implementing a new small-group learning activity for one unit, while simultaneously developing a lecture presentation based on student feedback for another unit. Rather than a single linear process akin to flowing one-way down a waterfall, you'll likely go through multiple simultaneous ADDIE cycles throughout the entire course.

With ADDIE and other design methodologies, you can take a systematic approach to develop and improve your online course.