Role of SMEs and IDs in E-Learning

It is a well-known fact that proper interaction between the Subject Matter Expert(SME) and Instructional Designer is indispensable for the development of an effective eLearning course.What are the roles of SMEs and IDs in eLearning? Do SMES manage the design and development process? Do IDs just play a minor role in eLearning? Let’s explore.

SMEs have the technical knowledge and are the right people to ask the subject-related queries. They demonstrate the content that is to be included in the training program. They play a vital role in the review of the eLearning courses.  They ensure that the content has been explained correctly. Developing eLearning courses is not the key role of an SME. If you want your eLearning courses to make an impact on your learners, instructional designers are vital. 

The instructional designer is not only involved in designing the course but also develops the course using rapid authoring tools. The content is analyzed and structured in a logical flow. They gain knowledge of instructional design principles to ensure the effectiveness of eLearning.  This makes them an e-learning expert.

When instructional designers and SMEs work together collaboratively and keep the course focused on learner’s needs, it results in a smooth eLearning design and development process. Now the question is, how do you explain the instructional design (ID) process to the SMEs?

ID acronyms like ADDIE model and Bloom’s Taxonomy are confusing to the SMEs. Therefore, explain the Instructional Design within the context of the typical problem-solving process of Plan, Do, Check, Act (P-D-C-A).Use problem-solving language to describe the ID process when you talk to SMEs. This will help them avoid becoming tangled in instructional design acronyms so they can better understand the next steps.

Given below are some common goals SMEs and instructional designers can follow for the smooth development of eLearning courses.

1. Understand the Requirements

It is essential that both the SME and the instructional designer understand the requirements or expectations from the course. The content expert (SME) has the responsibility of ensuring the content is accurate. The instructional designer (learning expert) on the other hand needs to ask the SME, the right questions to bring out relevant information.

2. Communicate Effectively

Communication between the instructional designer and the SME plays a huge role in the success of any eLearning project. Using visual representation like mapping the course outline to the relevant content can make it easier for SMEs to understand the importance of a question the ID might have. Completing reviews on time and sharing feedback with the IDs is a responsibility of the SME that facilitates smooth eLearning development.

3. Appreciate the role of SME

Starting from the initial storyboards to the blueprint to the final product, the SME has an important role to play in communicating the correct information. This information forms the basis for effective instructional design.SMEs should be appreciated for all the inputs given by them for the development of the training course. It helps to strengthen the bond between the ID and the SME.

SKILD Solutions has over a decade of experience in designing and developing engaging learning solutions with the right blend of technology, instruction design, and learning methodology. We develop courses that not only engage your audience, but also ensure you meet your business needs. Our team of talented graphic designers, multimedia developers, and learning architects offer incomparable quality at cost effective rates.

37 thoughts on “Role of SMEs and IDs in E-Learning

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