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5 Proven Techniques for Engaging SMEs

Navigate the complexities of SME collaboration by understanding their perspectives and aligning their expertise with your instructional design goals.

This episode will help you gain invaluable guidance on mastering subject matter expert (SME) interviews for instructional design, offering five strategic tips. Discover how to extract important insights and create impactful eLearning experiences.


Essential Learning Points:

  • Utilize question starters like who, what, why, where, when, and how.
  • Recognize that SMEs possess specialized expertise, and your goal is to understand their skills and knowledge deeply. 
  • Discover opinions on critical concepts, systems, or explanations that should be emphasized. 
  • By understanding potential pain points, you can design the course to effectively address these issues, both in basic and advanced sections.
  • How to maintain a clear plan and purpose during the interview with the SME. 


Key Quotes:

  • "The last thing you want are one-word answers from someone with a wealth of knowledge." 
  • "Remember that your goal is to understand the skills and knowledge the SME has, and to find a way to effectively express that knowledge to the learners."
  • "Make sure you find out about learner pain points that need to be addressed in the course."
  • "Open-ended questions include who, what, when, where, why, and how."


Important Links and Mentions:

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