Saturday, October 18, 2008

I am the Enemy (a.ka. the SME)

Over on the Rapid eLearning Blog there is an interesting post on dealing with SME's.

At a recent conference, we were asked what typically held up the production process for elearning courses. The number one response was working with the subject matter expert. This makes sense since they play such a critical role in the course’s success.

The subject matter experts know the content and understand the work environment. Because of this, much of your project hinges on their time and the commitment they make to the project. The challenge is that our subject matter experts are like the rest of us and just don’t have a lot of time to spare.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) in my career, I've always been in relatively small/informal training teams where the SME, Course Developer, and Instructor were the same person: me.

When doing technical training, the idea of an instructor teaching courses he/she didn't develop has always bothered me. In my training program at Tenable I certainly work with product engineering to help fill in gaps of my product knowledge, but how as an instructor/course developer can you depend on someone else to "know the content and the work environment?"

Having mastery of the content is the third leg of the stool that also includes curriculum and instructional methods.

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