Leaving ADDIE for SAM...? Using the successive approximation model of design

Who is SAM?

Kaleda Ruck, Presenter

ADDIE vs. SAM in Real Life Examples

Carol Moore and Audrey Ranney, Presenters


You and your friends are planning to float the Illinois River on inner tubes this weekend, but you know your employer will be contacting you at some point to go over a project. You are getting close to evaluation time, and a promotion and raise could hinge on your ability to take the call whenever it comes in. You also know that there is a good chance that everything you take on the river with you will likely get wet at some point during your float trip. Work with your group to come up with an original design idea to keep your phone dry but still handy enough that you can hear it and answer it before it sends the call to voicemail.


  • Must keep phone dry
  • Must keep phone protected against sun/heat
  • Must be where you can reach it and answer it quickly
  • Must be kept clean
  • Must be protected from being lost
  • Use only items that are not intended for this purpose in real life (in other words, think of household objects that have a different intended purpose.


You notice that when people charge their devices, they often have to look for the cord, then bend down to retrieve it because it won't stay on the desk/table/other surface. Work with your team to create a solution using the items you have been given, with your table as the surface on which you want the cord to remain.


DO NOT POKE ANYTHING WITH THE PUSH PINS!!! They are for design idea use ONLY!

Discussion Prompts:

  • What did you like about each?
  • What did you not like about each?
  • Which model do you feel like you would prefer to use?
  • Are there different situations that you think might call for different models?
Differences Between ADDIE and SAM

Teresa Hightower, Presenter

SAM/Rapid Prototyping

What: SAM stands for Successive Approximation Model. This is an instructional designer’s development model that fosters creativity and is practical.

How It Is Different From Standard Addie Model:

  1. SAM approaches the development of instructional design products by addressing the performance need through iterations, repeated small steps, rather than with perfectly executed giant steps.
  2. SAM challenges the notion of moving through a linear process (like ADDIE) from Analysis to Evaluation as an effective strategy for designing learning events intending to produce greater performance.
  3. SAM addresses the roadblocks such as product quality, meeting timelines and budgets, and managing SMEs.
  4. Most importantly, SAM is an agile e-learning development process built specifically for the creation of performance-driven learning.

The Agile Advantage of SAM:

Sam starts with performance so that clients end with performance. SAM focuses on learner experiences, engagement, and motivation over content organization, presentation of information and post tests.

SAM has a 3-step process:

  • Preparation
  • Iterative Design
  • Iterative Development
SAM1 and SAM2

Jakey Dobbs, Presenter

SAM Process


Instead of starting with a long, drawn-out evaluation of the existing or “needed” content, SAM starts with the preparation phase—where you gather information and get all the background knowledge. This is intended to be a very quick phase.

Iterative Design:

This phase begins with the Savvy Start, the initial collaborative brainstorming meeting that establishes the foundation for a successful project. The Savvy Start focuses primarily on performance and will serve as the project kickoff meeting and the main environment for all project team members to converse. Throughout the Savvy Start and the Iterative Design Phase, your team will be rotating through design, prototype, and review.

Iterative Development:

Much like the Iterative Design Phase, in the Iterative Development Phase your team will rotate through development, implementation, and evaluation. You’ll start with your design proof, moving to Alpha and Beta, before finally rolling out the Gold. As the instructional product is being developed, you continually analyze and evaluate, so that at any point if a change needs to occur, it can happen quickly and limit any risk of the project moving out of budget or time.


Created with images by http://tvorbaweb-stranok.sk - "keyboard"

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