421 - Transforming What SMEs Know to What Learners Need

Thursday, May 13, 2021
Instructional Design

Have you ever had this conversation with a subject matter expert (SME)?

SME: "This needs to be in the course."

You: "I'm not sure it does."

SME: "Yes, they definitely need to know it."

You: "But I'm not sure it will help them."

SME: "Well then, they at least need to be aware of it."

You: "Hmpfh."

Your learners have needs, and your SMEs have knowledge and experience. The two don't always line up. SMEs with the best intentions can end up creating content that's long on information and short on practical application. The box gets checked but post event application is limited, forcing learners to YouTube to find what they need.

In this session, you'll learn five key strategies for working more effectively with subject matter experts to create content that really sticks. Too often the relationship between SMEs and instructional designers is imbalanced. Either the SME pushes for knowledge-based content focused on what people need to be aware of, or the ID pushes for activity and overlooks need-to-know information. The best courses come from a strong partnership between these roles. You'll get practical insights, tips, and resources for making the most of your SMEs’ expertise and harness it in a productive way. You'll leave better able to move your online content from simply conveying information to helping your learners solve the real problems they face every day.‬‬

In this session, you will learn:

  • To change the focus of your efforts from the SME’s expertise to the learner's needs
  • To negotiate out "nice-to-know" information
  • To help SMEs break down what they've learned over the years in a way that's helpful to others
  • To use one simple question to determine what content should be included and what should be cut
Amy Morrisey, President - Artisan E-Learning
Diane Elkins, Owner - Artisan E-Learning

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