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Learn all about the SAM Model


SAM Model

of Instructional Design

Preparation Phase

SAM begins with the Preparation phase. This phase is used to collect background information on the learners. It consists of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of learners, learning about their prior knowledge, and establishing the goals of the project. The Preparation phase ends with something called the SAVY start. SAVY is a session where the team rotates design ideas, brainstorms, develops prototypes, and repeats.

SAM Model

The ADDIE (analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate) Model of instructional design has served as the foundation for many instructional design projects. However, it has often been criticized for being too rigid and linear since you are meant to take the steps in order. In response to the issues with the ADDIE model, the Successive Approximation Model (SAM) has emerged. SAM is as a rapid design and development model that uses shortened steps to create holistic and flexible projects.

Iterative Development Phase

Once the team has selected a design, the project moves into a loop of developing, implementing, and evaluating. It’s important to develop smaller chunks of the completed project in this phase to ensure you always have something usable for end-users to provide feedback on. This is one of the biggest differences between SAM and ADDIE. ADDIE waits until the end of the project to receive feedback, while SAM always has something usable that learners can use and interact with throughout the stages of development.

Alpha, Beta, Gold Release

Alpha serves as the first version of a complete project. In this stage, all components of the course are useable from beginning to end. No major course flaws should be found at this stage, but it is still common for minor editing opportunities to come up. Beta and Gold Release are the final stages of SAM. Beta is a modified version of Alpha based on feedback, a final opportunity to revise the project. Once everything has been review, the project goes to Gold Release and is ready.

Iterative Design Phase

As the project moves into the iterative design phase, the team becomes smaller and is narrowed down to project designers and/or developers. Iterative Design consists of project planning and additional designing, setting project timelines, budgets, and the assigning of a task that needs to be completed. Once the planning is complete, the team can move forward with additional designing. This is when design decisions are made and the instructional components become more tangible.