The ISD-ADDIE Process III: What You need to Know

This is the third installment in our series about using the byproducts from the Instructional Systems Design (ISD) – ADDIE process to inform the review-signoff process for developing multimedia instruction (MMI).
In Part I of this series, we stressed the importance of the Instructional Systems Design (ISD) – ADDIE process as the foundation of any development project. When (ISD) – ADDIE is used, there are several tangible products that result from each phase that help guide development.

The first product, the Design Specification Document (DSD), was discussed in part II of this series. The DSD can be used to create, proof, update and improve courseware, particularly those products created during the Design Phase.

In Part III, we’ll continue discussing key products that guide product development through the (ISD) – ADDIE Development process. The next two products that go hand in hand are the audio script and the storyboard. To review the documents (design products) associated with the Design Phase, see the list below.

The Design phase is where the blueprints for the instruction are created. These concept documents will guide the process from start to finish. This phase involves specifying how the instruction is to be learned.

Outputs from the Design phase
    •   Design specification document
    •   Style document
    •   Audio Scripts
    •   Storyboards

    •   Design templates and prototypes
    •   Draft supplemental material
    •   Draft assessment instruments

Audio (Narration) Script

The next useful document is the audio and/or narration script. The script defines what will be taught (the content) in the course and makes what is narrated as smooth as possible for the voice-over talent. The scriptwriter makes sure that things like dashes (–) or parenthetical comments are removed, and that the script spells out the phonetic pronunciation for foreign words, proper nouns, letter-number combinations, and acronyms.

What to look for… are there…?

Consistent writing style/tone
Correct grammar/spelling/punctuation
No slashes or parenthetical comments
Phonetic pronunciation of technical words, letter-numbers, & acronyms
Proper reading level is used
Content is technically accurate

How the design product/deliverable can be used. The audio (narration) script is used to verify that the storyboard narration complies with the original script once it is divided into each frame or slide of the storyboard. Normally, the audio (narration) script is approved prior to being released for storyboarding. If you are a subject matter expert (SME), then your job is to inspect the script for technical accuracy. If you are a technical editor or multimedia developer, then your review may be to adjust the organization of the script so it is better suited for multimedia delivery.


The storyboard is one of the most important documents in the (ISD) – ADDIE process. This document is used in the review of all of the products/deliverables found in the development phase of ADDIE. The draft storyboard is a screen-by-screen breakdown of the intended instruction, including narration/audio, on-screen text, visual media (illustrations, photos, animations, and video), interactions, and evaluations. Usually, with the exception of narration scripts and on-screen text (what will be spoken or read), the storyboard contains descriptions of what is intended, not the actual visuals or interactions that learners will encounter.

What to look for… are there… ?

Content is technically accurate
Consistent writing style/tone
Correct grammar/spelling/punctuation
Proper reading level is used
On-screen text is in proper format & coincides with teaching point
Visual detail is clear & appropriate
Interaction & assessments are clear and address learning objectives
Template is correctly applied

How the design product/deliverable can be used. The storyboard is reviewed and approved at the end of the design phase so that the development of multimedia assets can begin. Once approved, the storyboard should be consulted again when the completed multimedia assets are reviewed. If the assets are reviewed with respect to how well they reflect the description found in the storyboard, the project is kept on track, and project schedule and cost overruns from trivial, irrelevant changes can be avoided.

The storyboard should be consulted again when the completed, fully enabled courseware is proofed at the end of the development phase.
Tags: ADDIEeLearningInstructional Design