Winston Churchill said, “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” This statement rings true when you are developing your learning and training program. You probably have quizzes, manuals, videos and a plethora of other material that needs to be digested and put into action by your employees, but how do you make this happen with various learning styles and different degrees of training interest? The simple answer is you use an instructional design model.
An instructional design model is a tool or a framework to develop your training materials. In other words, it gives a needed structure and provides meaning to the training materials themselves. With an instructional design model, employees can better understand why there is a training need and breaks down the process of designing training material into steps. These models provide guidelines to ensure training addresses the learning objectives set and meet the desired expectations for the learners.
Implementing the Addie Model
Although there are several instructional design models, one of the most common is the ADDIE Model of instructional design. ADDIE stands for analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate. Let’s break down each step a bit further.
In the analyze phase, your goal is to gather information about your training program. This is a great time to step back and understand why you need a learning platform at all. If you don’t have strong learning objectives created, make sure you survey employees, team leaders and senior management to find out what the overall goals are. Then, create learning objectives to meet each goal. These objectives will give you the information you need to analyze the direction of your training program. Here are the analysis steps to follow.
- Look at audiences
Write learning objectives for each of your audiences. For example, you are a publicly-held company who employs both full-time and global contractors so your audiences may be:
- Full-time employees
- Team Leads
2. Levels of learners
If your training program is geared toward all levels of employees than a person just starting out their career will need different training than a seasoned employee. With this in mind, craft learning objectives based on varying degrees of curriculum and material needed per employee level.
To help facilitate this process, consult Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s philosophy was started in the 1950s by Dr. Benjamin Bloom to promote higher forms of thinking in the education field. But today, this philosophy has further been adapted and is being used in several industries. One of these areas is in corporate training.
Bloom identified six levels of learning that students go through in school. These same six principals can easily be applied to corporate employees as well.
3. Should be measurable.
After considering different employee learning levels, shift your focus to create learning objectives that can be evaluated. In order to accomplish this, all objectives must be measurable. Include a timeframe or a way to check that they were obtained when you go to analyzing.
4. Use action verbs.
Another way to make learning objectives measurable is to use action verbs when writing them. Use words like: identify, translate, test, and rank. Versus words like capable of, appreciate, be aware of, and know.
5. Analyze your objective.
Once you have finished drafting your objective statements, ask yourself these questions:
- Did I communicate my objectives effectively to my intended audiences?
- What is my framework for how my employees will learn?
- Did I convey what tools my employees will use to learn?
- Did I provide my employees with a way to measure their own progress?
- Do my facilitators understand their role and what they need to accomplish?
The next phase in the Addie Model of Instructional Design is the design phase. During this part of the process you want to layout the structure of your learning and development program. The best way to do this is to work backward. Start with an assessment. That way you can survey a test group of employees to see how well your design is received. Keep in mind these questions within your survey:
- Did you have adequate time to complete the training?
- Was the training engaging both visually and content-wise?
- Do you think you will use what was learned?