Book Title: The Essential Guide to Working with Subject Matter Experts
What is the key message in this eBook?
eLearning professionals need subject matter experts (SMEs). Subject matter experts need eLearning professionals.
As eLearning professionals, we understand how to organize content and write solid learning objectives. We also know how to design content that engages our learners! Subject Matter Experts have the experience, content, and insights your learners need. Without them, your learners cannot perform their assigned jobs!
The key to working with SMEs is to learn how to build a positive relationship with them from the beginning.
Why should you read this eBook?
eLearning professionals must engage subject matter experts on every project. Your goal is to gain a basic understanding of the SME’s world and the context for your course. If you fail to engage with your SME in a positive way, it can result in project delays and result in subpar courses.
My key takeaways from the eBook
Research Your Topic
- It’s important to research and learn as much as you can about the topic before meeting with the SME. This not only shows you respect their time but allows you to pose questions that are relevant to the topic at hand.
- Come to your meeting with prepared questions. This will help keep the meeting focused. It is important that you be an active listener during the meeting. This means you need to concentrate on what the SME says and give them your full attention. It’s also good practice so summarize you meeting in writing via email with the SME after the meeting is over. This helps identify any potential misunderstandings.
Acknowledge the SME
- Let the SME know you value their contribution. An email to their manager, expressing your appreciation, is even better!
Avoid Information Overload
- To avoid information overload, discuss what actions learners need to take post course. Remember, some SMEs think the learners need to know everything to do the job. As eLearning professionals, we know that isn’t the case. By focusing on action instead of information, you will prevent the “brain dump” course.
Move the SME away from Point and Click Course Designs
- Show samples of the type of course you think will work to the SME. This will open their eyes to alternatives to the traditional point and click course. The goal is to have them focus less on information. Instead, show them how interactions make the content more relevant to the learner.
- When showing the SME content, never advertise the tool. What matters is the course meets the organization’s goal. Tell them to give you content from any and all sources. You are creating something new!
This eBook offers some very useful tips when it comes to working with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). I hope this quick summary gives you an idea of what the eBook covers. You can download and read the entire eBook here for free!
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