ADDIE and Human Performance Technology

They sound like some new found computers, but in reality they are instructional design systems. Many instructional designers know ADDIE. Today, I’m talking about how the Human Performance Technology field is an offshoot of the ADDIE model. I wish I’d know about it before. It would have greatly informed much of my teaching practice, but there’s no time like the present.

The ADDIE model for instructional design seems to be the basis for many instructional design systems, and Human Performance Technology (HPT) is one such model that borrows from the ADDIE model.

There are a few similarities between ADDIE and HPT. They both use the process of analysis to look at a learner problem. They both seek solutions. Both use evaluation and the collection of data to drive decisions. However, there are key differences to note between the two. The ADDIE model is focused on design and “instructional blueprints” in its overall approach and is also, as Dr. Donaldson mentions, biased toward instruction (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). The ADDIE models addresses the “gaps between desired outcomes or behaviors, and the audience’s existing knowledge and skills” (Kruse, 2009). The focus is mainly on the learner in the ADDIE model as well as meeting the learning needs of the individual by designing and developing objectives and processes that help the learner learn (Strickland, n.d.). Evaluation and implementation do not just happened at the end of the design and development of instruction; rather they are ongoing so as to inform the designer so that changes can be made when necessary and quickly (Laureate Education, Inc, 2010).

The HPT model is different in that it’s focus on more on the causes of any “performance” gaps; the success of the organization depends on the success of its employees (International Society for Performance Improvement, n.d.). As HPT will look at what causes the individual to not be able to successfully perform the job. HPT’s goal is to increase the bottom line of the company by increasing the individual’s ability to perform his or her job, and with this in mind the HPT analysis focus is geared toward analyzing the job task (Population Leadership Program, n.d.). In addition to this, it is important to note that HPT looks at deciphering “what caused the problem” while the ADDIE model looks at “solving a problem that exists” as well as a major evaluative difference (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). HPT design model seems to also take a behaviorist approach rather than a cognitive approach because the focus is more on changing individual behavior so that performance is enhanced (Budke and Kerka, 1988). The HPT model will look at evaluation of the problem and how it was addressed long after the process, and this is referred to at the “confirmative model” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). This model will take into consideration noninstructional solutions such as ergonomics, redesigning job task, benefits, and compensation (Population Leadership Program. (n.d.) ; International Society for Performance Improvement, n.d.). HPT is seen mostly in corporate America.

The HPT model has its advantages because it is focused on how people perform on the job. The performance of the individual affects the overall success of the organization, so it would make sense that an organization would want to find ways of helping its people be successful so that the organization itself can be successful. This model is not necessarily about instruction. It takes into account that there are many variables that affect performance. It humanizes the work place and allows the needs of the individual to be addressed by seeking out the causes of his/her inability to perform well. At the same time though, it may be necessary to provide intensive instruction especially if the individual is unable to perform the work because he/she is unknowledgeable or lacking information. Another disadvantage I see is how the technologist ensures lifelong learning or the successful and immediate internalizing of information because they wait a while before evaluating. It would seem to me that the learner would want to know immediately if they are doing better so that changes can be made more quickly. Feedback is so important to learners feeling successful and competent. If there is too much focus on negative feedback, it may have a negative impact on the individual, where as in the ADDIE model, the learner’s deficiencies or the causes thereof are not the major focus, and you get feedback at various stages rather than only at the end of the process.

I would use the HPT model if I were a human resources professional in any area. As I am a teacher, I see that it would be very beneficial especially for first year teachers and even the veterans. If teachers feel supported, they’ll do better than if they’re not supported. It provides a guide to helping individuals be successful in their work. I think someone who feels successful and competent in their work is more likely to suffer less burn out than those individuals who have no one in their corner to mentor or help them solve whatever issue is keeping them from doing his/her best on the job. I might also use HPT when talking to my students about getting jobs and being successful on the job. I can apply it to my own career and be my own trouble shooter as well as look for solutions. This puts a little more power over what I do in my hands because at least I would know that I can change me to help the organization do its job better too.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2010). “Perspectives on Instructional Design”. Retrieved from

Kruse, K. (2009). Introduction to Instructional Design and the ADDIE model. Retrieved from E-Learning and the ADDIE Model:

Strickland, A.W. (n.d.) ADDIE. Retrieved May 11, 2010, from Idaho State University College of Education website:

International Society for Performance Improvement. (n.d.). Human Performance Technology (HPT) Primer. Retrieved May 10, 2010 from

Population Leadership Program. (n.d.) What is Human Performance Technology (HPT)? Retrieved May 11, 2010, from Polaris

Budke, W., Kerka, S. (1988). Human Performance Technology. ERIC Digest No. 74. ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED296122). Retrieved May 11, 2010 from EBSCOHost ERIC database

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