As instructional designers (IDs), we may know how to design and build an eLearning course but we may not always be familiar with the subjects we are dealing with. Hence, subject matter experts (SMEs) are needed. The SMEs are subject experts, who can help you yo understand the subject clearly. To achieve a better output, it is very essential for instructional designers and SMEs to coordinate with each other.
Here are a few tips for IDs and SMEs to follow when working together.
What Should the IDs Do?
- Always discuss the scope of the project with the SME and be clear about what you expect from him.
- It is a good practice to involve your SME right from the beginning of the eLearning project; so that any concerns regarding the content can be cleared as and when they arise.It is the responsibility of an instructional designer to identify the gaps in the content and take the help of the SME to fill them.
- Being the subject experts, the SMEs may provide vast information. As instructional designers, you can cut down some information and must be able to convince the SME.
What Should SMEs Do?
- The SMEs should understand that the objective of the training is to impart knowledge at a basic level, and not to transform learners into experts. Keeping this in mind, they must ensure that the content is relevant to learners.
- They must prioritize the topics and concepts from a pool of information.
- With their experience, SMEs can add real life situations that can be very helpful for learners.
- Sometimes, the subject may be highly technical, and the SMEs must patiently explain and clarify the doubts.
The ultimate goal of an SME/ ID is to make a project successful. Having a good rapport, with each other, can help achieve this. Please do share if you have anything to add to the list.