To believe or not to believe (in ADDIE)? That is the question…..

So, ADDIE’s been around since the 70’s and people have been using it successfully since then right? Created in 1975 by the Center for Educational Technology at FSU for the Army, it was so successful that all branches of the Armed Forces started using it! That speaks for itself.

The original ADDIE model had five basic phases with 19 “essential” components; but was later updated, keeping the five phases and enhancing the steps within the phases. The site providing this background reminds us that ADDIE should be used “as a guide for gaining direct intuitive insight into a problem” as opposed to following it “blindly”. Clark identifies some potential problems with ADDIE and indicates it was never intended to actually “determine if training is the correct answer to a problem”. He encourages the use of “performance analysis tools” to ensure proper solutions.

Here’s Grebow’s interesting take on ADDIE: “The problem is that today – and into the future if the past is any guide – we learn and will learn in dramatically different ways. Ways that ADDIE cannot support as a developmental model.” Grebow explains that using ADDIE as the “default” model limits the use of new technologies and directly impacts development opportunities. Since there are so many new “ways” of learning that are now available, ADDIE is simply outdated. He goes on to share that the model was created during a different time: “ADDIE was popular when organizations were bricks and mortar, development of programs was top down, and performance with regard to training was about getting a passing grade not adopting and adapting what you learned and transferring it back into the workplace.” Grebow isn’t saying the ADDIE is ineffective, just that it may not apply as much to the world we live in today. He references a shift in today’s work environment and illustrates:

Grebow’s conclusion? ADDIE must die. A bit harsh, perhaps.

But hey, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion…..

Works Cited:

Clark, D. (2011, September 26). ADDIE Model. In Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition. Retrieved from

Grebow, D. (2012, October 17). ADDIE must die!. In The KnowledgeStar Blog. Retrieved from


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