At a recent meeting, we were asked what typically makes the production process move smoothly in e-learning courses development. The majority polled answer was working with subject matter experts. This makes more sense as SMEs have more domain knowledge and is the right person to answer subject-related queries as well for review of elearning modules. But, the biggest challenge is that these experts often have less time or no time and little interest in developing an e-learning course.
However, this challenge can be solved with the help of creating a detailed project plan. Apart from providing content, SME can co-operate in terms of, determining objectives and outline for the successful completion of a course. A detailed plan can help to allocate resources, time-lines for reviews and approvals. Reviewing the project plan with the SME and getting a buy-in can help each member of the team to identify the roles and responsibilities and the risk. And most importantly, having a common goal between the SME and developers.
Let’s see some common goals that SMEs and developers should follow for smoother course development.
- Understand Requirements: Both SME and elearning expert should clearly understand the requirements or expectations from the course at the beginning itself. Also, the expert should make sure that content is clear and with minimal errors. By asking questions and clarifying doubts, the SME and the developer should understand each other’s perception and gain mutual trust.
- Minimum Time and Effort of the SME: The course should be developed so that the SME spends as little time and effort on it for review as possible. By focusing on communication skills, the SME and the developer can learn to listen carefully, reply politely and set their expectations with all positive thoughts.
- Engaging and Interactive Course: Another common goal of the SME and the developer should be to make the course engaging for learners with learner participation.
- On-time and Within Budget: The expert and developer should always focus on delivering the course on-time and within the specified budget.
As Brian Tracy said, “A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” Here listed above were some of the best practices to resolve the fundamental disconnect between developer and SME.
I welcome you to share some points on the common goals of SMEs and Developers.
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