When Does a Theory Become Outdated

Business and Customers

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Some of you might be aware that I write training programs. And to design training, I use the ADDIE model. It was developed by Florida State University decades ago as a way to design training for the military. ADDIE is an acronym that stands for Assessment, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.

There are other instructional design models out there. Michael Allen authored a book titled, “Leaving ADDIE for SAM”, which talks about the ADDIE model of instructional design and proposes a transition to a new model called SAM, which stands for Successive Approximation Model.

Allen’s book contends that ADDIE wasn’t really a great model for instructional design in the first place. With relatively recent trends such as social and informal learning, ADDIE isn’t keeping pace with today’s business demands. His book outlines a new model, SAM, which considers the changing face of learning and business.

Honestly, the jury is still out for me whether I’d “leave ADDIE for SAM” but I did find the book an interesting read. It offered a challenge that merits discussion.

When does a model or theory become obsolete?

I think conventional wisdom tends to suggest that, once a model or theory reaches a certain status, then that’s it. We don’t

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