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An Ideal SME for Technical Training: An Instructional Designers Wish List

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An Ideal SME for Technical Training: An ID’s Wish List

Jim is an instructional designer (ID) who is in-charge of designing a technical training course for an automobile giant. He needs to work closely with Mark, the subject matter expert (SME) who is responsible for providing the learning content. Jim has a list of 5 wishes for Mark. Let us know more about these wishes as Jim describes them in his own words.

Wish 1: Kindly review the learning objectives

Mark, I know that you are a veteran in the automotive industry. But, as the SME for this course, I would like you to review the learning objectives thoroughly. This will help you determine the scope of the course and you can provide the right learning content accordingly. After all, you too would agree that the learning content is the heart of this course. Wouldn’t you?

Wish 2: I would be happy if you develop the assessments first

Once you have gone through the learning objectives, I request to you to develop the questions for the assessments. There are two reasons why I want you to develop the assessments first and then the learning content. First, you need not spend a lot of time on writing content in between the formulation of learning objectives and testing them because it is easier to come up with questions that are directly linked to learning outcomes. The other advantage is that you get clarity about the topics that the learning content needs to cover. Once you have developed assessments that “match” the learning outcomes, it becomes easy to identify the topics that are necessary to complete these assessments successfully. This goes a long way in segregating the ‘need-to-know’ and ‘nice-to-know’ aspects of the learning content.

Wish 3: Please use a checklist

I wish that you use a checklist to make sure that you have given all the relevant data to me. This will prove very helpful in avoiding delays. I once worked with an SME who provided comprehensive content but forgot to label the different parts of machinery. Using a checklist will prove very useful in preventing such incidents.

Wish 4: Providing a glossary would be of great help

I request you to provide a glossary of all the technical terms used in the course. I know this is a time-consuming task but will definitely help in expediting the course. If you do not provide a glossary, I need to search the meaning of these terms on the Internet. Many technical terms have multiple meanings and I may be confused. For example, the term ‘fracture’ has different meanings. This could lead to errors and also delay the project.

Wish 5: Adhere to schedules religiously

I understand that you are a busy man and respect you time. But I request you to keep up your appointments. We are both stakeholders in the development of this online course and hence your cooperation is of utmost importance for its success. I assure you that I will not take more of your time than what has been agreed.

So Mark, can you help me design this online course effectively by providing the right inputs on time? I hope you would fulfill my wishes.

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