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Instructional Design

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Instructional design is a theory-based, systematic process used to design lesson plans and instruction. The ADDIE model involves five major steps: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.  

Molenda, M. (n.d.). (PDF) In search of the elusive ADDIE model. Retrieved from


ADDIE Process

The analysis phase investigates and reflects on instructional goals, needs, concerns, learning environment, and students’ prior knowledge and skills. In doing so, faculty can determine constraints and resources in order to fine tune their plan of action. Questions the analysis phase addresses include, but are not limited to:

  • What are my students’ characteristics and prior knowledge for the course?
  • What are the desired learning outcomes?
  • How can I create an inclusive learning environment for my students?
  • What are the pedagogical considerations for adult learners?
  • What constraints and resources do I have as an instructor?

The design phase starts with designing core components in a syllabus, such as learning goals, measurable objectives, assignments, assessment strategies, activities, media selection, and the schedule. The design phase should not only connect the core components logically and orderly, but also provide sufficient information to help students understand what are expected in the course.

This is the “Getting the design done” phase. In this phase, faculty create and assemble instructional content and strategies, as described in the design phase. It is common that faculty revise and fine tune their design plan frequently in the development phase. 

The implementation phase is the actual teaching. It is the applications of the design and development phases. To better serve students’ needs, faculty must reflect on and adjust their course curriculum, learning outcomes, method of content delivery, student engagement strategies, and assessment procedures accordingly.

In course design, the evaluation phase consists of two aspects: formative and summative. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process, and summative evaluation is conducted at the end of the course design. In teaching, faculty can use formative assessment to provide immediate and ongoing feedback to students about their learning. Meanwhile, students provide summative assessment – the end-of-the-semester student evaluation to faculty that can be used as one of the sources for reflection and course redesign.