ADPIE vs. ADDIE: Related in so many ways

Outside of my constant push, affinity and specialty in integrating educational technology in Nursing Education, I also have a strong appreciation for the instructional design process. Instructional design was first introduced to me when I was vetting speakers for a workshop that myself and a former colleague were putting together, for our then Nursing Education Task Force. Taking a step back in time to provide some context, in my prior role, in addition to being a Corporate Nurse Educator, I was also asked to be the co-lead Nursing Ed support for our health systems learning management system (LMS). That new appointment allowed me to sit at the table, for the first time in my career, with other key players in the health system, as we optimized the use of the learning management system. My co-worker and I, specifically, were the voices for 13,000+ nurses to make sure they received their education efficiently and that the LMS also suited their needs. The "table" that I am referring to consisted of myself and my co-worker, folks from our corporate university, IT, as well as lead support for other departments within the health system-research, medicine, rehab services, etc. Through these meetings, I met the lead instructional designer for the content that was being pushed out to the medical students and physicians. She was a certified instructional designer and I felt that she would be perfect for our task force workshop, as she would provide a different perspective and take on how our education should be developed and designed.

When we had the workshop, it became very clear to me that instructional design was not necessarily foreign but it definitely was not something that Nurse Educators in this task force ever really used in their day-to-day when preparing their content. The speaker went over creating story boards and the process with which an instructional designer uses when getting ready to prepare their educational content, etc. Ever since then, instructional design was an area that I increasingly became intrigued with and where I gained a huge level of appreciation, especially since their model/process that they use, ADDIE, is so very similar to the Nursing process, ADPIE.

I've since dug a little deeper to get a better understanding of why instructional design theories and models were somewhat unknown to Nurses in Education (not unknown to all but to many). Much of this goes to the fact that in many Nursing Education Master's programs, when you review their courses and curricula, do not cover principles of instructional design. According to Krouse (2015), many nursing faculty lacked preparation in the use of instructional design. Much of this is related to minimal human and financial resources to support nurse educators in learning the skills and techniques of instructional design, which of course limits the ability of instructional design to be used in nursing education. They cover curriculum development and design but not instructional design. What's the difference? Curriculum design focuses more on the What of your educational plan--what you are teaching, what the learner will learn--versus instructional design, which has an emphasis on the How--how the learner will learn--definitely a fundamental difference between the two.

So we have ADDIE and ADPIE- what is the difference? Let's break it down:

My point in all this is that while as Nurse Educators, we may not formally be acquainted with instructional design models and principles, which there are more besides ADDIE but ADDIE is most often used by instructional designers, it is not that far off from our Nursing process of ADPIE, which we know through and through. We can then infer that it shouldn't be too hard for us to look at how designers design their content for maximum learner engagement, right? According to Krouse (2015), we are probably using aspects of ADDIE in how we prepare to create or develop content for our nurse learners, without even knowing it, but the elements of design related to processes and theory is often times minimal.

To end the story I started with above regarding the nursing education task force, the educators in attendance actually appreciated the insight into instructional design but time was the number one constraint to implementing an instructional design process. Partnering or consulting with education consultants or instructional designers may prove to be beneficial, not only to us as Educators but to our nurse learners, as the design process may allow our content to be a little more rich, lending itself to more learner engagement.

Let's get the discussion started on how we can start using instructional design principles as a means to a more satisfied, enriched and engaged learner.

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Caudill, B. (7 March 2018). What is the Right Instructional Design model for you? [Blog]. JCA Solutions. Retrieved from

Krouse, A, M. (2015). Instructional Design: More Important Than Ever! Journal of Nursing Education, 54 (6), 304-305.