SAM Model (Successive Approximation Model) in eLearning

The SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION MODEL (SAM) is the preferred instructional design methodology for rapid development. Take note of the work “approximation.” That’s exactly what the first prototype is likely to be—an approximation of the final cut. SAM is to instructional design what Rapid Application Development (RAD) is to software engineers.

The iterative process takes a continuous approach as opposed to a step-by-step approach. Development can drive analysis and design instead of analysis and design driving development. If this seems backwards, that’s because extreme deadlines often call for extreme measures. Iterations can flow fast and furiously, and iterative changes might take even more time than the initial prototype.

With no buy-in along the way to the prototype, there’s the possibility of returning to the drawing board a few times before the team hits the jackpot.
Think of SAM as having an idea of the goal but only a general idea of how to get there. Some designers and developers love the process, but others can’t handle the lack of structure, so it’s important when time is of the essence that you select a designer who’s not only familiar with but comfortable with the SAM iterative model.