Instructional Design Theory for Learning Objects: ADDIE

For a learning object to transmit learning, instructional design must be utilized (Wiley, 2002). There are many instructional design (ID) that can be applied to learning objects.  One is ADDIE (seen below)

Using ADDIE for LOs does not differ greatly from using ADDIE to design traditional instruction. Here are some steps outlined by Baruque and Melo (2004)


Ask and answer the following questions:

  • Who are your learners?
  • Are there any specific learning styles to be addressed?
  • What instruction is needed?
  • What are the learning objectives?
  • Is there a performance gap that needs to be addressed?


Once you have determined your learning objectives,  conduct a task analysis, what should be learner be able to do?  Alongside the task analysis, a content analysis is in order.  What should the learner know in order to perform the tasks? What are the definitions, principles or procedures that should be learned?

Pinpoint the LO structure. According to Hamel and Ryan-Jones, LOs should be units of instruction that stand alone, follow a standard instructional format, be small, the sequence must have a context.

The design phase also includes the sequencing of instruction, designing the LO interface, and storyboarding.


This is  where you produce the digital LOs, using an appropriate tool (Captivate, Camtasia, etc.), along with reviewing the design and functionality.


Choose a delivery system (web page, course management system, etc.)  and run the LO


There should be both formative and summative evaluation.  Evaluate the LO as the stages unfold. Conduct pre- and post assessments to see if learners are learning as intended. Modify the LO as needed.

There is no correct ID model to follow.  Those that break down the ID process into segments work well, since LOs involved instructional segments or chunks that can be reassembled and reused in different instructional contexts.


Baruque, L. B., & Melo, R. N. (2004). Learning theory and instructional design using learning objects. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 13(4), 343-370.

Wiley, D. A. (2002). Connecting learning objects to instructional design theory: A definition, a metaphor, and a taxonomy. In D. A. Wiley (Ed.), The instructional use of learning objects: Online version:


About Pamela J. Morgan

Librarian at Vanderbilt University Libraries
This entry was posted in Learning Objects and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Instructional Design Theory for Learning Objects: ADDIE

  1. Pingback: Designing Learning Environments Part 1 « New Dawn Learning

  2. Sharon Bailey says:

    Thank you very much for this! I was looking for a quick summary of ADDIE as it relates to learning objects in particular and this has been very helpful as a jumping-off point.

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