How to Use the ADDIE Model for Your Microlearning Strategy

The training model ADDIE has been around for more than 50 years! ADDIE is an acronym that stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate.

So, is ADDIE still relevant today? Does it apply in a microlearning scenario?

The answer is a big YES!

The reason is simple. ADDIE is a framework that tells us how to plan, execute, and implement our learning initiative efficiently and effectively. So, it works well for microlearning too.

Let’s see how the wisdom of the ADDIE model translates to microlearning…

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How ADDIE model Works in Microlearning

Analysis Phase

This is the pre-production phase of microlearning where plans are developed for your microlearning initiative.

Stakeholders get together in a kick-off meeting to learn about and even question the potential of microlearning, discuss how it can be integrated with your organization’s long-term training goals, and how the microlearning strategy would look like.

Specific pain points, knowledge/ competency gaps, and problems are clearly defined, and training goals and desired outcomes are determined.

Microlearning project activities get listed – the project scope is defined, expectations and objectives are set, budget is ascertained, timelines are finalized, resource requirements (talent, equipment, technology, facilities) are assessed, and plans made to mitigate potential risks.

Learner profiles, their learning preferences, the learning environment, timelines for launching the initiative, technical specifications, instructional goals, and budgets are finalized. Existing learning materials are assessed to see how they fit into the microlearning format.

Design Phase

This is also a pre-production activity, where the learning objectives are made clear. The instructional strategy for the microlearning is selected based on the learning objectives, and microlearning maps are designed to give you the blueprint of your initiatives.

A microlearning map gives us a clear direction of how the microlearning lesson will look like, and clarifies what the microlearning is meant to achieve:

  • Supplement current training by offering microlearning as an alternative way to engage your learner.
  • Reinforce learning that’s vital for a learner’s job performance.
  • Augment current learning to enhance performance.
  • Remediate to rectify poor learning or performance of the learner.

Based on these four considerations, the use case scenarios for a microlearning lesson are arrived at:

  • Pensive: where the learner reflects upon an idea or a situation.
  • Performance: where the lesson provides just-in-time performance support or prompts to the learner.
  • Persuasive: where the goal is to modify learner behavior.
  • Post-instruction: where the microlearning lesson complements a larger training program (eLearning, classroom etc.).
  • Practice: where learner can hone his or her skills through practice.
  • Preparatory: where the microlearning lesson prepares the learner for a larger up-coming learning initiative.

The focus then shifts to content and design that include elements such as the lesson plan, exercises, assessments and quizzes, and choice of tools (gaming, infographics, animation, video, podcasts, etc.).

Development Phase

This marks the start of production where microlearning assets are developed. The review team that includes the SMEs and other stakeholders validates and reviews what’s being done – be it a video, infographic, podcast, interactive game, etc.

In the next step, the microlearning app/platform and internet/intranet is tested with the help of the IT department. Post review and iterations, the content of the lessons is finalized. Approvals are obtained from the appropriate/legal authorities.

Analytics/matrices are set in place to monitor individual learner performance (click-through rates, time spent on each section, quizzes/games played, performance scores, confidence-based assessments, level of mastery attained by each learner, etc.)

The content for various assets is created during the development phase. Technologies are integrated. All the enabling activities like conducting tests, fixing of issues, reviewing and revising of plans are accomplished. Pilot-testing of the microlearning lesson is done to assess its efficacy.

The new microlearning initiative is promoted amongst learners to build excitement. A training and technical helpdesk is also set up to ensure smooth roll-out and to fix technical difficulties faced by users (learners).

Implementation Phase

This is part of the post-production stage where the microlearning lesson is deployed to the learners. The microlearning platform or app is made fully functional in a ready-to-roll-out state and is deployed through the desired medium (smartphone, PC, laptop, POS unit, etc.). Learners are trained on using the microlearning platform or app. A pre-launch communication is shared with them, and they start enrolling for the microlearning lesson.

Evaluation Phase

Evaluation is done both before and after implementing the microlearning capsule.

The before part is done during Design and Development phase. The objective of this evaluation is to make sure that everything is spot on – be it the microlearning resource, design, or format! This results in high learner-engagement and better achievement of your learning objectives.

The after part checks on:

  • How well the lesson was received by the learners (perception)
  • Level of knowledge gained using assessments/quizzes/questions (learning)
  • Evidence of ‘application at work’ demonstrated (performance).

To conclude, the ADDIE model gives us a very clear framework to design a microlearning initiative, and provides a clear pathway to the microlearning production schedule.

The pre-production stage is meant for analysing and designing, production stage for developing and implementing, and the post-production stage for evaluating the microlearning initiative.

Clearly, the ADDIE framework helps us achieve a microlearning production mindset!

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