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Materials Development (with ADDIE) - Part 2

What to do after the data-gathering phases

If you're back here, it's because you really see some benefit in adopting ADDIE as a model for managing materials writing (or may be tempted to try!), which sheds light on the horizon. 😊

ADDIE - Part 2

Adding to what I wrote in the first article, and taking into

consideration some comments I received about how time-consuming it is to come up with all the information for phases A and D, what I can say is, yes, it does take time. Nevertheless, in my experience, this time is well spent, and when compared to how much time is wasted in the never-ending redoing of things when the process starts with little or no information, it actually means very little time invested.

So, with no further ado, DIE (just don’t 😊)!

3. Development

This phase focuses on creating the actual learning materials, such as coursebooks, activities, assessments, multimedia elements, and projects based on the design plan. It is the hands-on part of the process, tends to involve more players like authors, editors, proofreaders, art designers (and more), and will benefit from management apps or Gantt charts (check some suggestions at the end of this article). Here are some questions to guide you:

  • Are the instructional materials being created according to the design specifications?

  • Have all players (regardless of their expertise or experience) been trained to respond to the design specifications?

  • Was a Styles Guideline put together to assist the art designers?

  • Is the content of the materials accurate, relevant, and up-to-date, especially considering the profile of the learners as identified in phase A?

  • Has the language been proofread?

  • Are multimedia elements (if any) being used appropriately to enhance learning?

  • Have interactive activities and exercises been developed to reinforce learning according to the beliefs stated in phases A and D?

  • Does the content respond to the considerations for accessibility and inclusivity?

  • Are different forms of assessments created and aligned with the learning objectives?

  • Does the assessment provide meaningful feedback to learners, so they can effectively incorporate it?

  • Is the overall design of the materials visually appealing and user-friendly?

  • Is there a channel of communication between the many players? Does this channel permit them to exchange information in a precise and reasonably fast way?

4. Implementation

During this phase, the materials generated by the team are effectively delivered to the respective learners. However, between the materials writers and the learners lies – maybe – the most important piece of this puzzle: the teacher. So, this phase is also critical in the sense that, prior to the delivery to the end user, the learner, it will be essential to deliver online courses, workshops, or any other method of delivering the instruction to teachers, who will ultimately mediate the use in the classroom. Failing to do so may jeopardize the use of the new materials, regardless of how powerful they are. Here are some questions for you to think about:

  • How will the instruction be delivered to the learners (e.g., in-person, online, blended)?

  • Have teachers been (minimally) trained to deliver the instruction effectively?

  • Have academic/pedagogical coordinators been (minimally) trained to assist their teachers effectively?

  • Is there a channel of communication between the team and the teachers and/or coordinators to help with questions and doubts?

  • Are technical and logistical considerations (such as equipment, software, scheduling) in place for smooth delivery? Have these been regionalized if the context is large (like different states in a large country)?

  • Are there alternatives in case tools are not available in part of the schools/organizations that will use the materials?

  • How will learner progress and participation be monitored during the implementation, regardless of the mode (online, blended, or on-site)?

  • What mechanisms are in place for collecting feedback and evaluating the implementation in a way that this information instructs future changes?

5. Evaluation

The final phase involves assessing the effectiveness of the instructional materials and the learning experience. This includes gathering feedback from the whole community of users, formed by coordinators, teachers, learners, and possibly parents. This is aimed at measuring learning outcomes and making any necessary revisions or improvements for future iterations of the instructional design.

  • Have learning outcomes been assessed using appropriate measures (e.g., quizzes, surveys, performance evaluations)?

  • How do learner achievements compare to the initial learning objectives?

  • What feedback have learners provided about the effectiveness of the instruction and materials?

  • What feedback have parents provided about the materials? (Parents may not be able to assess materials technically, but they can always share information about usability).

  • What feedback have teachers and coordinators provided about the effectiveness of the instruction and materials?

  • Have teachers had their lessons observed in order to understand if the materials are being used according to the information gathered in phase D?

  • Have teachers, coordinators, and/or managers provided insights or observations from the implementation phase?

  • Based on all this data, what revisions or improvements are recommended for future changes?

  • How will lessons learned from this evaluation be applied to enhance future instructional designs?

Wow, that’s a lot, I know. Actually, no one expects writing teams to implement all of this at once. What's important here is to understand this whole process to adapt it to the needs of the team, organization, and/or the project. More importantly, this checklist aims to help anticipate issues that could cause the entire plan to fail prematurely or give players a huge headache.

In my experience, here are some challenges in using editorial process management models:

  1. The need to deal with the demand for items that don't necessarily contribute to the instructional design project or the learning experience (usually cosmetic items that schools/organizations/publishers see as necessary for showcasing and boosting sales).

  2. The lack of knowledge among schools, publishers, and managers regarding the scope of instructional design.

  3. The lack of theoretical or practical knowledge (among a significant part of the materials development community) regarding instructional design project management models.

  4. The need that many schools and publishers have to focus exclusively on the course outcome, rather than the learning process through educational objects and the student's journey.

  5. The limited willingness of proponents to integrate an evaluation phase into the process, aiming at material improvement.

  6. The perception that this process requires little investment in terms of both money and time.

  7. The experience and qualifications (not always sufficient) of part of the professionals currently involved in developing materials and promoting instructional design in the market.

Here are some Gantt apps I have been using:

  • Project Studio

  • Trello

  • ClickUp

  • TeamGantt

I hope these two articles have shed some light if you're considering materials production and help you develop and manage a smooth process.

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