The Basics: ADDIE - Analysis


If you're working on your skills to become an ID (Instructional Designer) or you've been googling around for one to help you with your next training project, you've probably come across the term ADDIE. No idea what it means? Don't worry, it is simpler than you think. ADDIE is a model to develop training that is used by instructional designers and training specialists. ADDIE itself is an acronym. Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluate. Each letter converts to a step, where we as instructional designers, build training, determine goals, and roll out training in a specific order. In this series, we'll be covering ADDIE one week at a time. So grab a cup and let's tackle our first step in ADDIE. Analysis.


During the A Analysis step, we are ultimately trying to figure out what specifically is needed to be learned and how we can accomplish that learning goal. We set our learner's objectives to aid in meeting that learning goal. And we need to make sure we're specific. For example, I want to teach my sister how to bake by Nana's sugar cookies. Does she need a history of the cookies? Not really. We want to be specific in our goal and objectives, so we don't oversaturate our learner's brains. Because let's be real. In a world of Netflix where is starts your next episode in seconds, it's hard to keep a learner's attention. By the way, anyone else have grief with Hulu? Why are they making me wait 30 seconds to start my next episode on What We Do in the Shadows? Anyway, see... short attention spans. I couldn't even get through this post without going off track, and your learner's minds will wander too. So be specific! Don't include a bunch of information that isn't going to help us meet our objectives! Speaking of objectives, during this step, we determine our objectives. With training my sister to bake sugar cookies, I want her to be able to mix up cookie dough, roll out the cookie dough, use cookie cutters to make perfect shapes, and how to finally bake the cookies.


If you use the analysis step or not, is going to quite honestly depend on your job and the project.

As a freelancer, many companies come to me with a specific problem to know of that they need training for. They already have analyzed the situation and discovered the gap in their learning or training. For example, a company that only sells products instore, is now due to COVID, only offering their products to their customers online instead. They've already analyzed the situation and determined the gap in their learning, their staff doesn't know how to work the online eCommerce software. In this example, they know their staff needs to enter orders into the eCommerce site, mark orders as reviewed, and maybe they need to learn how to mark orders as shipped. So they've set their objectives as well. So in my case, if this company was my client, boom. Done with analysis.


If you are on staff at a company, however, as an instructional designer, sometimes the one and only instructional designer as a full department, you're obviously going to be much more involved in this Analysis step. Let's look at another example, you're the training department at a company. The sales manager comes to you and says "I'm having so much trouble with my team making their quotas. They need help." So you know you need to provide some kind of training for the sales staff to fix this, but, the sales manager, nor yourself, know why the sales team isn't making quota. Are they distracted? Are they approaching the sale in the wrong way? Who knows! Well, it's your job to find out. In this situation, the manager is going to be my SME, AKA Subject Matter Expert. They know how to talk the talk and walk the walk, so they're going to be my wealth of information on the subject. I'd sit down with the manager and have them make a sale. What did they do right? What did they say? Interview them. What do they think the issue is? Gather as much information as you can, because down the line, you're going to have to script this training if you're a one-person department and you need to know what you're doing! I'd then sit down with one of the sales team. Shadow them, see what they do when they attempt to make a sale, ask them, what do you feel confused about? Are you having trouble with any specific thing that is making these sales calls tough? Again, take notes!


In this case, let's assume members of the sales team seem to get tied up when buyers ask specific product questions. And there we go, we analyzed the situation and found the real culprit of unmissed quotas. If we had skipped this step and just jumped into building a full eLearning on proper sales technique we'd have wasted our time and our learner's time. In this case, the sales staff might even need something as simple as a QRG (Quick Reference Guide) they can all have on their desks with product specs!


So as I stated, this analysis phase is going to differ dependent on the company you work for, the specific job you have within that company, or if you work for yourself. But during the A of ADDIE. Analysis. Our job is to determine the learning goal and set our objectives for our learners.


Next week, we'll be taking on the first D in ADDIE. Design. Bring your coffee!

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