5 Phases of eLearning Course Design

It is helpful to design processes and models when you’re performing repeated tasks. This helps create a normal course for things – creating repeatable products that customers come to expect. In eLearning design, we have a model for course design – ADDIE. There are five phases in course design:¬†Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. Following this course design model, you will make fewer mistakes in instructional design and create a more complete course.


In the Analysis section of course development, the instructional goals are established and the learning attributes are developed. The course designer should analyze the situation, how the course will be developed, and special circumstances for learners. In this phase of course design, these tasks should be accomplished:

  • Identify the tasks the learner needs to accomplish
  • Select which tasks this course should cover
  • What learning theories will be used?
  • Create the measurements of performance
  • Choose the setting the student will take the course in
  • Estimate the training costs


Next, the instructor will design the framework for the course.

  • Create training objectives for the course
  • Identify the steps required for learning
  • Create a structure for the course
  • Create the user interface and user design for the course
  • Develop the sequence of the training course


After the course framework is design, the course designer will develop the course material and instructional content. This is the “heavy listing” phase of course development. In this phase you will select how you will deliver the course so you can design the content to fit the delivery method. This section of course development includes:

  • Select the system for training delivery
  • Find references and external support material
  • Create the instructional material
  • Validate the training meets the objectives
  • Review and change the training material based on tester feedback

There are several steps to developing the training course, these include:

  1. Review the training objectives and organize into modules for training.
  2. Create an outline for each training module.
  3. Expand the outline into training content including text, assignments, videos, photos, examples, and exercises.
  4. Use experts to provide real-world examples and exercises in the training course.


The course designer will create the implementation plan and the conduct the training. In this phase, the instructional designer should create the facilitator guidelines (if it’s taught in person), the student guide, the course objectives, and any testing or grading rubrics. In this phase, an instructional designer will:

  • Create a plan for course delivery
  • Prepare the materials for the student; ensure all course materials are available
  • Conduct the training


Many instructors miss this important point of course design: evaluating the course content and instructional delivery to make sure it met all of the needs of the students. Evaluating the training ensures that the training course is successful as meeting the stated objectives. It also ensures the training course meets the level of the students and is achievable in the time allotted.

Creating a successful training course requires a lot of time and effort. Following the ADDIE model will help ensure the training is the best possible.

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