ADDIE is a model of learning design developed in the 1970s. Many organizations have moved away from ADDIE in recent years to newer models such as action mapping. ADDIE is still alive and well in some organizations though, so what is it and how does it relate to xAPI?

What is ADDIE?

The ADDIE acronym is explained in the table below. ADDIE is a cyclical process, so the evaluation of one learning project feeds into the analysis of the next.

Analysis The analysis phase collects information about the requirements for the project and the starting point of the learners. Learning objectives are set at this stage.
Design The learning resources are designed. This includes the instructional, visual and technical design.
Development The learning resources are created following the design.
Implementation The learning solution is delivered, launched and used by the learners.
Evaluation The learning solution is evaluated. Were the objectives of the project met?

You can see from the table above that ADDIE envisages the kind of traditional e-learning course that SCORM was designed to support. ADDIE is generally described in terms of content and learning resources rather than learning experiences and it can be harder to describe a blended approach involving social and informal elements using the ADDIE model.


If you’re following ADDIE, xAPI is relevant at each stage. The table below outlines now.

Analysis Existing learning and performance data captured using xAPI helps to identify gaps in competency that the project needs to tackle, as well as the current level of the learners.
Design As part of the design, consider what events will be tracked and what data will be captured. Consider links between elements of your blended solution. Design statements.
Consider the different types of learning experiences that might make up your solution beyond traditional e-learning courses: mobile apps, social and informal learning, games, face to face experiences, simulations etc.
Consider the technologies to be used; you are not longer limited to HTML, JavaScript and Flash.
Development Make use of code libraries and other resources during development. Follow recipes.
Implementation Content no longer has to be packaged and uploaded to the LMS but can be linked to on the cloud. More detailed data about the learning experience can be captured.
Evaluation xAPI enables evaluation at all four of Kirkpatrick’s levels of evaluation including the impact on learner’s behavior and the organization’s performance.

The table shows that ADDIE can still be used in creation of xAPI powered learning experiences, but some of the steps look a little different than if you were developing a traditional SCORM e-learning course.

What process do you follow in your learning design? How will it look different when creating xAPI powered learning experiences?

We’re here to help if you’ve got questions or would like to talk to us about implementing xAPI in your organization.

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