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406 Interviewing SMEs for Stories

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Thursday, April 13

Tracks: Instructional Design

Series: Instructional Design Summit

An extensive part of the instructional design process is the subject matter expert interview. The information instructional designers gather during the interview process is essential to creating an effective learning experience. We typically use information to uncover accurate content and context for the training. However, we also use the interview to reveal the stories that drive the need for the behavior change and those that describe the new world. But interviewing for stories is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. While there is training on how conduct a needs assessment, that content usually focuses on what data you need, not how you get it. We are also not taught how to use it, especially when it comes to qualitative data. This may result a learning experience that depends more on the “hows” of the desired performance instead of the “whys.” An effective learning experience reveals both.

In this session you’ll learn the strategies writers use to conduct effective interviews. You’ll learn about finding the right sources to suit your needs. You’ll learn about planning and preparing for the interview and gaining clarity about the focus and intended outcomes. We’ll discuss the interview itself, including building rapport and engaging in active listening. You’ll also learn a technique for walking interviewees through building their own stories so that you’ll have content for scenarios. Finally, you’ll learn strategies for closing the interview, verifying information you’ve collected, and following up with interviewees to ensure accuracy.

In this session you will learn:

  • Why being able to conduct strategic interviews is an essential skill for instructional designers
  • How to prepare for conducting interviews
  • How to guide subject matter experts through telling stories that you can use for context and content
  • How to use the qualitative information you collected during the interview to build a learning experience

Technology discussed:

MS Word

Hadiya Nuriddin

Senior Learning Strategist

Duets Learning

Hadiya Nuriddin has two decades of experience in learning strategy, instructional design, elearning development, and facilitation. She worked in corporate learning before choosing to found her firm, Duets Learning, where she’s worked with a wide array of companies on a variety of topics. She speaks at events and industry conferences and travels teaching courses for the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Hadiya holds an MEd in curriculum studies, an MA in writing, and the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) designation. She is the author of the book StoryTraining: Selecting and Shaping Stories That Connect, published by ATD.