Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts

When it comes to elearning, content means everything. If elearning content is not masterfully designed, all the rest will just go down the drain (Christopher Pappas)

What Is A Subject Matter Expert?

You have 10 guests coming to dinner (This a pre-pandemic scenario). You promised them Beef Bourgogne but you haven’t a notion how to make it. You pull a recipe from your favourite cookbook and voila! Dinner is served.

The person who wrote the cookbook is the copy writer but they could only write it with the help of the Subject Matter Expert – The Chef. eLearning is no different.

How can the subject matter expert help my business?

🙶 The Subject Matter Expert is the person who has a deep understanding of the knowledge that everyone else in your business needs to know.🙷

The Instructional Designer & The Subject Matter Expert

Symbiosis is the art of living together. There’s no better example than the symbiotic relationship between an anemone and a clownfish. It’s a classic example of two organisms benefiting the other.

The Subject Matter Expert and the Instructional Designer have a symbiotic relationship in the course design and development of the learning experience. Their focus is on a collegial and collaborative work environment.

  • Energy Consumption
  • CO2 Emission

Impact of eLearning on the environment (%)

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    The e-learning industry has expanded by a staggering 900% since 2000.

A key part of Instructional Designer role is to make course content engaging and interactive. Working with the Subject Matter Expert we carefully consider the materials and approach that will most effectively meet learning needs.

We apply the various learning methods that relate to how people learn and the cognitive processes behind the learning.

Our Approach To Working With The Subject Matter Expert

Our approach to working with the Subject Matter Expert is to ask the questions:

🙶 What are the skills or knowledge that you want people to bring back to the workplace or to enhance their continuing professional development? 🙷

🙶 How will we measure success, skills and knowledge transfer?🙷

A critical outcome from the relationship is identifying the “nice to know” from the “need to know”. This can be easier said than done and presents some challenges.

Over the years we have developed effective strategies to work with SMEs to create meaningful learning experiences Our approach is to use andragogy, a theory of adult learning developed by educator Malcolm Knowles.

  • Learners need to know why they are learning something.
  • Learners need to know how this knowledge will be of benefit to them
  • They learn through problem-solving.
  • They learn by doing, by practising and by experience.
  • They learn through assessment

What’s fundamental to our approach to learning are assessments.

Generally they’re created as an afterthought when development and design is complete. The result is usually a dog’s dinner of badly thought out true or false and multiple choice questions.

By developing the assessment as part of the learning curriculum and learning outcomes we can then use the Instructional Design and the Subject Matter Expert to achieve the intended learning outcomes.

In the words of Stephen R. Covey “Begin with the end in mind”