Bridging the Gap – What should an SME do?

Bridging the Gap – What should an SME do?

For a course to be developed as an efficient eLearning product, it needs the skills of both eLearning developers and Subject Matter Experts (SME). SMEs are experts in their area of interest but are not always accustomed with the learning process. E-learning developers are well-versed in the learning discipline, but are not conversant with the subject for which they are developing a course. Based on the SMEs suggestions on the content, they develop the course. Creating a good communication between SMEs and eLearning developers is essential to meet customer demands with exceptional service.

Let’s look at a few expectations that an eLearning developer has and what should an SME do.

An eLearning developer expects that SME should:

  • Be readily available for content review
  • Understand learners and their learning preferences
  • Be conversant with traditional training besides contemporary training
  • Have a knowledge of Instructional designing in order to combine the knowledge of both SMEs and Instructional designers during the development of the course
  • Know the eLearning development process set by the developers
  • Know about the eLearning tools and their applications in various courses
  • Understand media elements to be used in the course, as this can influence the cost
  • Approve deliverables and should be focused on delivering the course within the timeline
  • Listen to the eLearning developer in order to deploy an effective course

For the above list of expectations from an eLearning developer, a SME should:

  • Allocate time for the project and honor it so as to complete the project on time as scheduled
  • Keep learners’ in mind, not just the subject
  • Remember their memorable moments as a trainee! Incorporate those into the course
  • Ask the eLearning developer to explain        about the scope of the project
  • Ask the eLearning developer for samples developed using popular tools so that they can choose the appropriate tool which in turn reduces the development time and cost
  • Ask for time taken for each module inputs
  • Remember the objective! It is not to transform the learner into an expert
  • Avoid reviews. Throw them back at the developer. Make them sweat!
  • Accept that he/she is the learning expert just as you are the subject matter expert

If we have clear expectations from an eLearning developer, it will be much easier to yield an effective eLearning product. Have I missed anything? I am sure there are many more points. Please add on to the list.

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Written By

Priyanka Dhondi, Instructional Designer

Tags: Instructional Design Tips
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