Our Thinking


Are You AGILE?

Angeline Usewicz

Today, training and development professionals must deliver faster, more flexible customized learning solutions, and ultimately, be more agile instructional designers.

For years, instructional designers have been using the ADDIE model to create effective training and job aids to support employee performance.  ADDIE is comprised of five phases: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.  In its early stages, this approach guided instructional designers through a very lengthy and linear process in order to produce a polished end product to give to the client.

Sounds like a surefire process, right? Yes, but maybe not for today’s fast-paced, changing environment.

The ADDIE model does offer a strong framework for planning and creating a training solution.  However, this process only includes the client at the beginning and end of the project – meaning you run the risk of not fully meeting the training mark.  That’s why we’ve been incorporating an AGILE approach to instructional design.

AGILE is one of the latest instructional design trends developed by Conrad Gottfredson. It’s an approach that boasts an iterative process, rapid prototyping, and a close partnership with the client in order to deliver a successful learning solution.

Let’s take a look:

Align – This is my favorite step of AGILE Instructional Design. In this phase we are no longer just analyzing the content and the performance gap. We are also aligning with the market, the strategy, the organization, and accommodating the learner.

Get Set – This is the phase where AGILE’s systematic traits begin to shine. Instructional designers create a rapid task analysis and critical skills analysis to help identify the deliverables. This way, design and development phases happen simultaneously.

Iterate & Implement – Now we repeat and refine the deliverables to fit the learner’s need. In this phase, the goal is to achieve the transfer of training so that the learner is performing independently, even after the training support decreases.

Leverage – Determine opportunities to leverage performance support, such as mobile support, social learning, social media, and research.

Evaluate – Measure the value and impact this learning solution had on the organization and the learner. The strategy you use to assess the learning and transfer of training may be a type of formative or summative evaluation to gather data.

Although AGILE Instructional Design offers a fresh outlook to learning design, no single approach is all encompassing. In my perspective, ADDIE has been applied successfully for so many years and still has merit, but is limiting in its linear approach. AGILE is more iterative so that we are continually revisiting what is most important for the learning and refining to meet the client’s expectations.

More often I find myself pulling from both ADDIE and AGILE methodology to create an approach that will tailor to the learning needs.

Leave a comment below to share what approach you use.

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