The A in ADDIE stands for assessment, right? Or is it analysis? I can never remember.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an “analysis” is defined as, “the careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do and how they are related to each other.” To analyze something is to separate a whole into its component parts, which allows a person to break something complex down into simpler and more basic elements.
On the other hand, an “assessment” is defined as, “the act of making a judgment about something. To assess something, you are estimating the value or character of the object.”
During the “A” phase of ADDIE, I am doing both, which is why I use the two terms interchangeably.
The analysis/assessment process consists of five parts, which can be identified or achieved through asking specific questions:
- Organizational Goals Why am I getting this request to create training? Why now? What does the organization want to do better, faster, or cheaper? If you don’t know this, how can you help create the solution?
In this case, let’s imagine that ABC Company wants to improve its customer satisfaction statistics.
- Performance Analysis What is happening currently in the company? What do you want to happen instead? What is the “gap” we are trying to fill with training or whatever other solution presents itself? What is causing the gap between the current and the ideal?
In this case, let’s say the customer satisfaction rate is 72% and the company wants it to be a minimum of 95%. During my investigation, I discover that what is causing the gap is that many of the customer service representatives cannot answer specific product-related questions because they don’t know the products as well as they should. So I make a judgement call: product training becomes the target for the training solution.
- Performer Analysis Who are the potential learners? What do they already know? What do they need to know?
In this case, product training is an obvious need since it is influencing the poor ratings. The more I learn about the potential audience, the better able I am to judge the appropriate training to their needs.
- Evaluation Planning How will you know if the suggested solution is a success?
In this case, maybe I will provide time for role playing practice and also do a level 2 evaluation at the end of the training to ensure that product knowledge goals have been met. Perhaps I could also do a level 3 evaluation as well and compare the customer service numbers before and after the solution.
- Needs Assessment Report/Needs Analysis Report This entails documenting each of the previous four steps, along with your proposed solution so you can communicate it to others.
This is another place where judgement kicks in. Being able to share what you learned during the analysis phase and spin it into a cogent assessment of what is needed in writing – and then getting others to sign off on your idea – is a very important part of the process.
So, what does the A in ADDIE stand for? You be the judge.