To design and develop an eLearning course using a back-to-basics approach, you can’t go wrong using the ADDIE model—Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. ADDIE, designed by Florida State University back in the 1970s, is tried and true, familiar and has served instructional designers for nearly half a century.

Guesswork plays no role in this ITERATIVE DESIGN MODEL. ADDIE is methodical, intuitive, each step of the model is typically put to bed before proceeding to the next, and buy-in is usually required before proceeding to the next step.

The model works, but it’s easy to get bogged down in minutiae, seeking perfection before proceeding, especially if the design team is comprised of nitpickers. Because self-correcting, iterative changes occur at every step of the process, ADDIE is the antithesis of rapid prototyping. It works best when you have an idea where you’re going as well as a plan to get there. At that point, ADDIE serves as the map to get to the goal.

However, all this measuring twice before cutting pays off in the end because unless the goal changes drastically or new management comes on board mid-stream, ADDIE doesn’t see a lot of “back to the drawing board.”