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  • Writer's pictureStarla Sharpe

The Power of the Development Phase: Bringing it all Together

When thinking of the ADDIE model (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) in instructional design, the development phase stands and holds special significance as the pivotal moment where ideas and plans materialize into concrete learning experiences. This blog post sheds light on the significance of the development phase, emphasizing how it serves as the “melting pot” stage where all the different components seamlessly come together. With insights from the amazing book, "ISD from the Ground Up" (Hoddell, 2015), we explore the vital role of stakeholder engagement in ensuring the development phase's success and alignment with training and organizational objectives.

The Development Phase: Integration and Transformation

The development phase is the dynamic stage where instructional design truly comes to life. It involves the integration of various elements, from content creation to multimedia assets, assessments, and interactive components. During this phase, the theoretical blueprint takes shape, transforming training into tangible and engaging learning materials.

Stakeholder Engagement: Fostering Collaboration and Alignment

The involvement of stakeholders is paramount during the development phase. Collaborating closely with stakeholders enables instructional designers to incorporate valuable insights, perspectives, and feedback. This collaborative approach ensures that the learning solution not only meets the organization's goals but also resonates with the intended audience and addresses their specific needs and constraints.

The Benefits of Stakeholder Validation

Gaining stakeholder validation is a critical milestone within the development phase. It serves several essential purposes:

1. Quality Assurance and Alignment: Stakeholder validation signifies that the learning solution aligns with the agreed-upon requirements and adheres to established quality standards. It provides stakeholders with the assurance that their expectations have been met, and the solution effectively supports their vision.

2. Accountability and Ownership: By obtaining stakeholder validation, a sense of shared accountability and ownership is fostered. Stakeholders become active participants, invested in the success of the learning solution and committed to its implementation.

3. Risk Mitigation: Stakeholder validation helps mitigate risks associated with potential misalignment or misunderstandings. By involving stakeholders in the decision-making process, any gaps or issues can be identified early on, minimizing the need for costly revisions or rework.

4. Enhanced Adoption and Engagement: Active stakeholder involvement and validation contribute to increased adoption and learner engagement. When stakeholders have a vested interest, they are more likely to advocate for the learning solution, driving enthusiasm and participation among learners.

Overall, in my opinion, the development phase of the ADDIE model in instructional design is the special stage where all the pieces come together, again, transforming ideas into tangible learning experiences. By actively engaging stakeholders and obtaining their validation, instructional designers ensure that the development phase aligns with organizational objectives and stakeholder expectations. This collaborative approach brings about ownership, and accountability, and increases learner engagement. As instructional design continues to evolve, recognizing the pivotal role of stakeholder engagement in the development phase empowers designers to create impactful learning experiences that resonate with learners and deliver outstanding results.


DeBell, A. (2023, January 10). What is the Addie Model of Instructional Design? Water Bear Learning.

Hodell, C. (2015). ISD from the ground up, 4th edition. Google Books.

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