ADDIE—Love it or leave it?

Image by sarowen at flickr.comI’m going to say it out loud: I’m a big fan of ADDIE (i.e., that is analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation). When it comes to ADDIE, here’s what I think:

ADDIE is a framework for design.
ADDIE gets a bad wrap. There’s a linear connotation.
ADDIE is what it is. It’s not what it’s not.

Recently, around the blogosphere of ID and elearning, there’s been quite a bit of talk about the horror that is laid at the feet of ADDIE. Over at eLearning Roadtrip, Ellen Wagner wrote how much ID and elearning professional dislike ADDIE. Similarly, over at Corporate eLearning Strategies, Brent Schlenker generalized the feeling toward ADDIE across to instructional is dead.

In Ellen’s post, she seems to nail one of the general themes that I find frustrates others about ADDIE. She writes that “ADDIE isn’t a learning model.” Well, of course, it isn’t. ADDIE is a framework for design. It’s certainly from the instructional designer, elearning professional, and even teacher’s perspective. It is what it is, and it’s not what it’s not. ADDIE does not represent the learner’s perspective at all. Similarly, Brent emphasizes that ADDIE can really be generalized to any design process.

Another element that Ellen brings up (and I agree) is that ADDIE gets a bad rap for appearing to be linear. It certainly looks linear. The fact that we speak it as a word, like Addie the girl’s name, seems to cement this thinking. But I believe, professionals who understand ADDIE as a framework don’t really believe it to be linear. They understand ADDIE is a process tool for interpreting a complex system. They understand the barriers between the A and the D and the next D are permeable, passing data and decisions back and forth across the process.

So, there you have it. I like ADDIE. I’m out of the closet. Is it better than sliced bread? Nope, only Nutella is and then it’s better on sliced bread. ADDIE is a framework for design. It might look linear, but it’s not. It’s not from a learner’s perspective either.

So, what do you think? What do you think are the pros and cons to ADDIE? Where does it fit in your world? How do you use it? How do you make sense out of it? Do you have some love to show?