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*Insert Critique Here* – The ADDIE Favoured Human-Centered Design Course – Week 3

*Insert Critique Here* – The ADDIE Favoured Human-Centered Design Course – Week 3

Introduction to Human-Centered Design seems like it is mainly using the ADDIE model (analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating) to create and develop a course for a large group (Bates, 2019).

One example I want to touch on is that this course does not have any teacher-student relations. Everything is in place and there are no updates or discussions from the professors. Faceless Acumen Academy teaching assistants have started the discussions each week, and I am wondering how long those words have been there. Does that particular TA still work at Acumen Academy? Where are they now? Did they ever exist? This teacher-student disconnect was one of the criticisms of the ADDIE model (Bate, 2019), and it definitely shows itself here. Do not get me wrong. The course works. It is clear and simple enough for the student to know the objectives, build off their previous knowledge, and complete them on their own. The course is done in a way where the content is manageable and does not seem too overwhelming because it is separated into small chunks and provides the content through different media and collaborative activities. It keeps tabs on whether the course is still working with the students and asks them what needs to be changed through a mid-course survey. It is a well-tuned and linear course that gets the job done (Bates, 2019). The problem is that it is too top heavy by focusing all of its attention on design and development while sprinkling in some evaluation to keep everything up to date (Bates, 2019).

The mid-course survey is another example that I want to explore. This method goes along with the ADDIE model of getting student feedback to improve the course. The survey includes 13 questions that gauge whether the student felt like they were a part of a global community, what they would change about the course, and if they had any challenges with certain material.

It is unfortunate that I was able to tell the instructional design model they were using from the model’s limitations, but the course works for what it wants to do and provides a good place for student-student relations to blossom through global discussions and workshops.

I think that they chose this model because it requires little effort from the professors. With a focus on human-centered design, it is important for the class to implement collaboration between the students. It achieves what it sets out to do by focusing on the student and their learning experience, and trying to continuously fine-tune that free experience.

I personally would want the professor to be a bit more involved in the experience and to prompt discussion and dialogue between themselves and students, or at least do weekly updates to give the students an overall idea of how they are doing in the course. This course is interested in improving and redesigning itself for the better, but where is the feedback for the students? I want them to provide feedback to the students so that they will become accountable in responding to discussions and want to impress the professor based on the previous feedback so that they can improve themselves too.


Bates, A.W. (2015). The ADDIE model. In Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Vancouver BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/6-5-the-addie-model


  1. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your post. I think a lot of your assumptions about why the ADDIE model was chosen for the course you are auditing are correct. As you mention, the course works and its clear organization makes it easy for students to navigate on their own.

    Your observations are also in line with many of the benefits noted by Bates (2015), namely the good quality design and clear learning objectives (Bates, 2015). Similarly, you mention limitations, which Bates (2015) would concur with: the lack of learner-instructor interaction and feedback for the student (Bates, 2015). The bottom line is the current arrangement works. Learners are able to access courses like this for free and universities are able to promote their university while trialing and tweaking courses that might become paid courses in the future. As we have discussed in previous weeks, once a student is paying for a course, their expectations understandably go up and more collaborative activities and interactions are required.

    I had to laugh when you brought up the mid-course survey. It reminded me of the insincere surveys done by fast food restaurants, who give away a free ice cream, for instance, just for taking part. If they truly wanted pertinent and valuable information to shape and improve their customer satisfaction, they would not be asking general, vague questions in a survey that takes thirty seconds to complete.



    Bates, A.W. (2015). The ADDIE model. In Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning Vancouver BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/6-5-the-addie-model/ CC BY-NC 4.0

  2. Hi Michael and Aaron,

    Thanks for your discussion about the benefits/drawbacks of the ADDIE model. For me, one of the biggest drawbacks might be the linearity of the process of ADDIE (it is hard to introduce spotaneity and unique learning moments in when it is all designed at the front end) – and as you point out, because the course is fairly predetermined how can any student feedback be used (I would hope it can help refine the next iteration?). I am not sure I agree that ADDIE does not consider instructor/student interaction – I think often it is a big part of the design (focusing on what the students are doing…and if it is facilitator driven, how the instructor can help manage those student activities). We use elements of ADDIE, and as an ID I am always thinking about the interaction points (and develop a detailed facilitation guide that goes with courses). So I think in this case it is more about the rigidity of the course design and the lack of built-in instructor presence requirements (so the design itself), rather than a limitation of ADDIE (not that I am saying it does not have limitations :)). Do you think the other models focus more on instructor presence?

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