Developing and Implementing a Custom EMS Curriculum

By Mike Touchstone

In part one of "Basic Instructional Design," we started our discussion of a simple instructional design process commonly referred to as ADDIE, which stands for the five steps in the process: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. We already looked at the Analysis and Design phases. Now we will proceed to discuss the Development, Implementation and Evaluation phases.

Once you have your course blueprint (the output of the design phase), you create detailed content during the development phase. You can use your storyboard to guide development by fleshing out the concepts and content. You complete specific and detailed lesson plans, teacher planning guides, and instructor resources.

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You must produce all of your program materials such as course syllabi, schedules, handouts, guides, presentations, and scenarios. You will also develop the assignments and assignment instructions, and build your quizzes, exams, and program assessment instruments.

It is important to have all the material reviewed and to run a pilot program to test your plans and materials. The quality review or pilot will help you answer these important questions about the course:

• Are the learning modules consistent?

• Is all content in place?

• Are the objectives signaling what the students will be able to do?

• Do assignments support the objectives?

• Do the assessments measure the objectives?

• Are the instructions clear and concise?

• Is there sufficient opportunity for instructor-student interaction?

• Is there a means for students to give feedback on how the learning experience is going?

(, n.d.)

Some other questions to consider during the development phase when you are creating and testing learning experiences include:

• Have the learning needs and characteristics of the participants been accurately analyzed?

• Were the problem statement, the instructional goals, and the instructional objectives appropriate for the learning needs of the participants?

• To what extent are the teaching resources, instructional strategies, and the participant learning experiences successful in effectively meeting the instructional goals and objectives of the target audience?

• Is it possible to accurately assess participant learning with the proposed course of instruction?

(Malachowski, 2002)

All the planning and development comes to fruition in implementation. It is a good idea to do a final review. Are all the topics covered? Is the schedule accurate for start and end dates? Are all the assignments, quizzes, and tests accurate and ready for delivery? Were there any weaknesses or issues identified when you asked the questions listed in the design phase, or during your pilot? If so, make revisions.

During this phase, you develop the procedure for training the facilitators and instructors. Your instructor preparation should include the curriculum, learning outcomes, delivery methods and testing procedures. (Wikipedia, 2009)

Ensure all of your materials are on hand, such as text books, hardware and software, training aids, and hands-on equipment. After completing any needed revisions, you can put your plan into action and begin the class.

You then evaluate the effectiveness of your program after delivery. Collect participant feedback and program assessments.

During the evaluation phase, you will determine the adequacy of the instruction and effectiveness of your program. This phase includes formative and summative evaluations. There are ongoing formative evaluations incorporated into each of the ADDIE phases.

How well did the participants learn? Did they obtain and retain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes as articulated in the learning objectives? Was the program successful in facilitating participants’ learning? What were the strengths and weaknesses of the program?

After evaluating the class, make revisions to improve identified weaknesses.

The ADDIE instructional design model is made up of five phases: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. It is an iterative process where results of the formative evaluations of each phase may lead the instructional designer back to any previous phase (McGriff, 2000). The ADDIE model is a systematic, step-by-step framework you can use to ensure that your program development is organized and structured. The model is designed to ensure that:

• Learners will achieve the goals of the course

• You evaluate learner's needs

• You create and develop appropriate training materials

• You evaluate the effectiveness of the program using processes with specific measurable outcomes
(Castagnolo, 2007)

There are some weaknesses associated with the ADDIE model. In his article "Weaknesses of the ADDIE Model," Culatta (2009) says that one significant weakness is a tendency to be inefficient because the model is not iterative. He goes on to say that “perhaps the biggest weakness of the model is that it assumes that you can know all of the requirements before you develop the content.” Culatta also presents Allen Interactions' (2007) "Seven Common Weaknesses of the ADDIE Process" that follow.

1. Typical processes require unrealistically comprehensive up-front analysis. Most teams respond by doing very little at all and fail to access critical elements

2. Ignores some political realities. Opportunities are misses, vital resources aren't made available, support is lacking, and targets shift.

3. Storyboards are ineffective tools for creating, communicating and evaluating design alternatives. Poor designs aren't recognized as such until too late.

4. Detailed processes become so set that creativity becomes a nuisance.

5. No accommodation for dealing with faults or good ideas throughout the process.

6. Learning programs are designed to meet criteria that are measured (schedule, cost, output) and fail to focus on identifying behavioral changes.

7. Post-tests provide little useful information to assist in improving instruction

From Rapid Interactive Design for E-Learning Certificate Program , © 2007 Allen Interactions

Understanding these potential weaknesses allows you to avoid them. Because ADDIE is a generic model upon which many similar approaches are based, there are various approaches and opinions regarding the model. For instance, according to McGriff (2000), the model is in fact iterative as noted above.

Wikipedia says, "Instructional Design…is the practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of instruction and other learning experiences. The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner, defining the end goal of instruction, and creating some "intervention" to assist in the transition" (Wikipedia, 2009).

The ADDIE model is a tool you can use and adapt. There is an enormous volume of information available online related to ADDIE. This is a brief overview that will hopefully stimulate you to pursue further information and help you to gain more skill in designing programs of instruction.

References and Resources
Business Performance Pty Ltd (2008). Addie Model – Training Project Phases. Retrieved from the World Wide Web May 21, 2009 from

Castagnolo, C. (2007). The ADDIE Model; Why Use It? Retrieved from the World Wide Web May 21, 2009 from

Culatta, R. (2009). Weaknesses of the ADDIE Model. Retrieved from the World Wide Web May 21, 2009 from

Instructional Design (n.d.) Instructional Design Using the ADDIE Model. Retrieved from the World Wide Web May 21, 2009 from

Malachowski, M. (2002). ADDIE Based Five-Step Method Towards Instructional Design. Retrieved from the World Wide Web May 21, 2009 from

McGriff, S. (2000). Instructional System Design (ISD): Using the ADDIE Model. Retrieved from the World Wide Web May 21, 2009 from

Wikipedia (2009). ADDIE Model. Retrieved from the World Wide Web May 21, 2009 from

Wikipedia (2009). Instructional Design. Retrieved from the World Wide Web May 21, 2009 from

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