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3 Steps to Take When Interacting With SMEs for E-learning Courses

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3 Steps to Take When Interacting With SMEs for E-learning Courses

One of our clients wanted to train their new medical reps. The client wanted to make several short modules for each brand that were not more than 10 minutes long, so that the new recruits get good knowledge of the products before they enter the field.

As we all know, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) provide a lot of content that makes our course informative. But sometimes, their content is either too informative or too less for our learners. In this blog, I’ll share my experience of working closely with my SME.

Step 1: Involve the SME from the Design Phase

The moment I get the inputs, I analyze them, prepare a rough outline and take the approval from the SME. Recently, I analyzed one of the inputs which was in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation had around 40 slides and the first 26 slides slides had only textbook references. I called my SME and asked him whether the slides were important. The SME replied that the references were ‘Nice to Know ’content. Then, I presented this‘Nice to Know ’content in the form of an interactive slide.Then, I prepared an outline by dividing the content of the presentation into two parts — ‘Need to Know’ and ‘Nice to know’ and took the SME’s approval. This went a long way in developing good online courses for the medical reps.

Step 2: Work with the SME to Standardize the Learning Units

As I have already shared, each brand had multiple modules which were divided into many subjective modules and a single product module. When we analyazed the inputs, we found that the subjective modules had the scenario in which the medical rep has to convince the doctor to prescribe their brand. This application part is relevant to the product module rather than the subjective module. Then, we suggested to the SME to ensure that the clinical application content should be included only in the product module as this information will help the sales representative to share the benefits of the product and subjective modules help them in strenghtening their knowledge. In this way, we standardized the learning units.

Step 3: Let the SME Take Learner Feedback

After completing a few brands, we asked our SME to provide us with the feedback from learners who have taken the courses. The SME shared a few points such as adding blinking effects to some buttons, images, hot spots etc. As the learners were new to e-learning, they faced difficulties in navigating through the branching slides. This feedback helped us as well as their learners. We incorporated the learner feedback in rest of the courses.

The relationship with the SME is a key factor in the success of an online course. I interacted with the SME through e-mails and Skype effectively and continue to enjoy a good working relationship with him. Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.

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