If you want to learn more about ADDIE and the entire framework, read “Everything you need to know about ADDIE and its stages.”
It’s important to note that a key element of each stage of the ADDIE process is formative evaluation, which focuses on spotting problems with the goal of enhancing the entire course. This may result in some iteration or pivots, but allows for continuous improvement during development.
In this article, we’ll focus on this last – but certainly not the least – stage.
The Evaluation phase is when the training program goes through in-depth review and testing. This stage allows the instructional designer (ID) to thoroughly and painstakingly evaluate each element of the course to ensure that learning outcomes are achieved. This stage measures the effectiveness of the course and identifies growth areas to improve the learners’ knowledge and skill.
The main goals of Evaluation are to keep track of the learning objectives and confirm that they’ve been met. What would it take for the course to achieve these objectives and business goals?
The Evaluation stage is comprised of two parts – Formative and Summative.
As the initial assessment, Formative Evaluation takes place during creation, or the Development stage. In this stage, students and IDs determine whether the learning objectives are addressed, and how to improve the course to make sure that they are.
Summative Evaluation happens after the course has been implemented or when the program is finished for instructional improvement.
Let’s dive deeper into these two parts.
Formative Evaluation aims to measure the effectiveness of learning materials. Are they easy to consume? What is the general reception of the learners to the course?
Formative Evaluation can be done in the following sequence:
Individual students preview the learning material to evaluate its effectiveness and assess the learner’s reception in terms of:
Small (focused) group evaluation
This type of formative evaluation determines how the course performs in a group setting. Pick a good sample from a variety of smaller learner groups to get a balanced representation. Determine whether the course:
After implementing the course in a well-represented group, a field trial should be conducted to assess how it will fare in a practical environment. This allows for any adjustment to be made to suit any specific real-life conditions.
When the course is finished and completely rolled out to learners, Summative Evaluation enters the picture.
The goal of Summative Evaluation is to determine the impact of the course to learners and how it can be improved for the next batch. The following guided questions may be used to assess how effective the course is based on implementation:
Another way to determine the impact of the course and recommend improvements is to use Donald Kirkpartrick’s Training Evaluation model which covers the following levels:
While it is the last stage of the ADDIE, Evaluation should not be considered as the final, conclusive step. Remember, ADDIE is an iterative process and the Evaluation phase should be treated more as the beginning of the next iteration, rather than the end to the initial creation process.
For the ADDIE model to be productive and to gain effective training, you will need a commitment to this iterative process and implement Evaluation regularly.
Also, you will have a better shot at achieving effective training if you keep a close eye on the quality of the course not just at the Evaluation stage, but throughout the entire process of designing and developing the training program.