The ADDIE model is the most well-known ISD model, and has stood the test of time. However, it has received it's fair share of criticisms. "First, the ADDIE approach implies that the best approach for design is a linear model. This emphasizes a rigid approach to design. Second, the learning objectives direct design and development resulting in an overemphasis on front-end analysis. Additionally, individuals may consider it to be too time consuming for real world application" (Teall, 2009). The ADDIE model was introduced in 1975, with the Dick and Carey model following behind three years later in 1978. Dick and Carey addressed some of the issues with the original ADDIE model, with the a key component of constant evaluation throughout the process instead of at the end, as ADDIE proposes. This allows for instructional designers to attack problems with design head on and quickly to avoid major problems developing further down the road in the process. Please see the charts and descriptions below for more comparisons between the ADDIE and Dick and Carey models of ISD.

Our group chose to use the Dick and Carey model because our project involves training of adult learners. The Dick and Carey model is commonly used in educational training, as opposed to school-based learning contexts.

Instructional Design Models


There are many different models of the ISD process, but the framework of ADDIE provides a simple overview. ADDIE is short for:
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

Dick and Carey’s Systems Approach to Design

Dick and Carey’s model is a very structured, methodical approach to Instructional Design. It breaks down the design process into smaller steps, balancing the instructional objectives against the entry state of the learners. Two key factors are the early development of assessments and reiterative revision of instruction. The Dick and Carey model prioritizes the development of assessment (an evaluation task), placing it just after the analysis, so that the assessments can help steer the design and development process. The systematic model also recognizes the importance of the iterative refinement of each stage through constant evaluation.


Model Comparison

Dick and Carey's Systems Approach


Identify Instructional Goals
Conduct Instructional Analysis
Analyze Learners and Contexts
Analysis is the process of defining what is to be learned and in what context. Goals of the instruction are determined as well as the entry states of the learners and the learning environment.
Write Performance Objectives
Develop Assessment Instruments
Design is the process of specifying how the material is to be learned. The general goals are specified in performance objectives or learning outcomes. Assessments are created to determine if these objectives are reached.
Develop Instructional Strategy
Develop and Select Instructional Materials
Development is process of producing the instructional materials. The instructional strategy provides a framework for developing each lesson and the instructional materials themselves.
Design and Conduct Formative Evaluation of Instruction
Revise Instruction
Implementation is the process of actually using the materials and strategies in context. Since Dick and Carey constantly refines the instruction during implementation, Formative Evaluation is a part of the this stage.
Design and Conduct Summative Evaluation
Evaluation is the process of determining the effectiveness of the instruction. Summative evaluation is the review of the finished instructional product. Other types of evaluation take place in earlier stages of the Dick and Carey model.


Teall, E. (2009). Constructivist alternatives to ADDIE. In B. Hoffman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Retrieved February 15, 2011, from San Diego, CA: SDSU Department of Educational Technology.