Successive Approximation Model

If you are in the field of training, e-learning, or content development, you would be familiar with ADDIE model. In case you are not, ADDIE model is one of the ISD (Instruction System Design) model that is used as a base for creating training content. This model consists of five phases that take us through the entire cycle of developing training content from analysing the training needs to delivering the training to the identified audience. Given below are the five stages of ADDIE model for your reference:


Figure 1a: ADDIE Waterfall Model

TTT – Train the Trainer ; ILT – Instructor led Training; WBT – Web based Training

The original ADDIE model was a waterfall model as shown above (Figure 1a). However, the ADDIE model was modified to have Evaluation phase implemented after every phase of the ADDIE, that is, Analysis, Design, Develop, and Implementation. This modification ensured that after each phase is completed, a formative evaluation is done to ensure that each phase has achieved intended results and the content development team is ready to go to the next phase.


Figure 1b: ADDIE Model with Evaluation Phase

With the Successive Approximation Model (SAM) – created by Allen Interactions, we are now introducing AGILE methodology to the ADDIE model. The AGILE methodology is about introducing incremental review and feedback after each stage of the process to ensure each stage has been processed and the desired outcome has been achieved. With AGILE approach in the ADDIE model, we have entered evaluation/feedback iterations during the Design and Development phases.

The Successive Approximation model consists of three phases – Preparation phase, Iterative Design phase, and iterative Development phase – before the training program is rolled out.


Figure 1c: Successive Approximation Model

During the Preparation phase, the information is gathered to conduct the Training Needs Analysis and the training team gets ready to create the course curriculum and course design documents (Design phase). In the Iterative Design phase, the course curriculum and course design documents are created. Based on the identified design, a prototype is created for each deliverable. The prototype goes through the evaluation and subsequent feedback is received. The iteration is continued till the desired quality prototype is approved and finalised by the stakeholders.

Once the prototype is approved, the training content development team starts with the development of the training content. The completed training material, after the quality review rounds, is shared with the business stakeholders for their feedback (Alpha release). The changes are made to the course material based on the Alpha release feedback and the updated training material is released to the selected training audience for their first view feedback (Beta release). After the Beta release feedback is addressed, the course material is ready for the Train the Trainer session (Gold release).

These successive iterations during the Design and Development phases help you spend adequate amount of time on design and development of course material. Also, the regular feedback from the stakeholders ensures the necessary feedback is received on time and the training material is always checked and validated for subject matter and quality.

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