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Reflections on Instructional Design Model Selection

In my journey into instructional design, I have noticed Instructional Designers often referring to ADDIE, an acronym combining Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (“ADDIE Model,” 2019; Dousay, 2017, p. 3), as a key design model. With a background in web development and programming spheres, tight timelines are the norm. As a result I have often used Agile methods to complete projects, whether programming or instructional design. This made it interesting to see Dousay explain the importance of ADDIE by noting how the steps used in other design models align with, or map back to, one or more phases of ADDIE. One example given noted how the PIE model (i.e. Planning, Implementation, Evaluation) combines the analysis, design and development phases of ADDIE into one through the Planning phase (p. 4).

Further to this point, in “Survey of Instructional Design Models” (2015) Branch & Dousay break down a number of instructional design models into three specific groupings:

This book, initially published in 1981 under the title, “Survey of Instructional Development Models”, provides detailed analyses aimed at assisting Instructional Designers in choosing design models for a wide variety of project situations.

Again, my own background being so heavily focused in the commercial world, one of the major components in my past projects has been the timely completion of a project. Branch and Dousay present Agile is presented as a Product-Oriented Model due to its focus on iteration and constant feedback. While this method is especially helpful in meeting tight timelines and ensuring a solid solution that meets an individual project’s needs, it does not necessarily allow space for innovation. In addition, having begun working on more socially-focused projects (and learning about the K-12 and higher ed sphere through this MALAT program), it appears that Agile may have less utility in these arenas. This, then, provides potential for my own skills to broaden as I take on projects outside of the corporate space, allowing for different experiences than I have had so far.


Branch, R. M., & Dousay, T. A. (2015). Survey of instructional design models. Association for Educational Communications and Technology. https://aect.org/docs/SurveyofInstructionalDesignModels.pdf?pdf=SurveyofInstructionalDesignModels
Dousay, T. A. (2017). Instructional Design Models. In Foundations of Learning and Instructional Design Technology. https://lidtfoundations.pressbooks.com/chapter/instructional-design-models/

One Response

  1. Great post, Jean-Pierre! I didn’t a very good understanding of the Agile design process from the readings. The only thing I understood is that it was more agile than ADDIE. Would you mind too much providing an example of how you’ve used it and what that looked like?

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