The Implementation phase happens when instructional designers have finally created the online course and are ready to “implement” it to learners. It entails organizing the entire learning environment to make sure that all bases are covered and both instructors and learners are prepared to undertake the course.
This stage of the ADDIE model involves training and preparation for both instructors and learners, and may be classified into the following steps:
- Training the instructors. Those who will facilitate the course are trained about the content, course curriculum, learning outcomes, delivery methods, and testing procedures. The facilitator should have a solid understanding of the learning objectives, key activities, media content, and tests. In some instances, training the trainers occur, and the trainers then go on to teach a sample group and conduct a pilot test.
- Ensuring learners are prepared and well-equipped. Learners are trained on platforms and tools (software/hardware) as well as how to register for the course. They are given an overview of the course, such as the course outline and passing grade for completing the course. Facilitators need to ensure that learners have a foundational knowledge of content, and know how to operate the tools – both software and hardware. Sometimes, there’s a need to provide foundational education to prepare the learners more on the subject matter.
- Organizing the learning environment. The Implementation phase also prompts facilitators to ensure the availability and functionality of learning materials, whether they are books, hands-on equipment, tools, CD’s, audio files, or other formats. In most instances, courses are uploaded and made readily available on learning management systems (LMS), which enable delivery, tracking, and reporting of activities within the training program. Depending on the delivery format, organizing the learning environment involves the following:
- Setting up the physical room, including projector, projector screen, blackboard, whiteboard, pens, and other audio-visual equipment.
- Downloading the required applications, plugins, and software.
- Printing, emailing, or providing access to the course materials.
The ultimate goal of this stage is to ensure that instructors and learners alike are prepared and well-equipped to take on the course, specifically in terms of tools, materials, and knowledge.
For courses implemented for the first time, certain issues and teething problems may occur. As such, a pilot test is highly recommended before rolling out the course to a wider target audience.
ENSURING THAT THE ADDIE IMPLEMENTATION PHASE BRINGS THE BEST OUT OF YOUR ONLINE COURSE
Each stage of the ADDIE model is meant to produce an outcome that will eventually feed into the next. The implementation phase is no different. To achieve and maintain effectiveness for the course, continuous improvement and modifications are necessary.
To bring out the best in your online course, the following elements should feed into your continuous improvement:
- Feedback – both rational and emotional – provided by instructors and learners during the pilot test. Is the course interesting, engaging, or boring? Is the group resistant or receptive to the content?
- How easy can the instructors facilitate the course? Do they have a full grasp of the content or do they struggle in some parts?
- Is there a back-up tool that can be used in instances when things do not go as planned? What can be done during technical glitches?
- Upon receiving the course materials, can students go through them on their own? Or do they usually ask for help and guidance?
- How does data mining, reporting, and tracking of learner activities go? Would the data support and feed into improving for the next batch of learners?
HOW TO PREVENT ISSUES DURING THE ADDIE IMPLEMENTATION PHASE?
Things may not always go as planned. The implementation phase can have many surprises, in the form of technical glitches and lack of reception to the course. To avoid these challenges, here are a few tips to stay ten steps ahead:
- Make sure that trainers and facilitators have been trained prior to roll out of the online course.
- Set up a solid timetable for the course and stick to it.
- Schedule the courses and modules. Ensure that learners are enrolled for each, and reserve both onsite and off-site learning venues.
- Ensure that learners are well-equipped in terms of knowledge, and if needed, provide foundational learning.
- Keep learners constantly in the loop. Notify participants about the course and send regular reminders on course milestones.
- Make a checklist of learning/course materials. Prior to rollout, make sure that each item is ticked.
- Manage all necessary equipment and make sure that they are available, with applications, plugins, and software all installed.
The key to a smooth-flowing ADDIE Implementation Phase is preparation. Get all the boxes ticked and you are likely to have a productive course rollout.
When things go wrong, a solid backup strategy and plan will save the day. And the key to a good backup strategy hinges on foresight and learnings from the pilot test.
Implementation is a critical stage of the ADDIE model. It’s when the rubber hits the road! So make sure that instructors are trained, learners are prepared well for the course, and the learning environment is ready to go. Have a solid backup plan in case of issues. Constantly ask for and receive feedback, so they can all feed your continuous improvement and beef up your course for the next batch of learners.