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314 Transforming What Your SMEs Know to What Your Learners Need

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday, April 12

Tracks: Instructional Design

Series: Instructional Design Summit

Have you ever had this conversation with a SME (subject matter expert)?
SME: “This needs to be in the course.”
You: “I’m not sure it does.”
SME: “Yes, they definitely need to know it.”
You: “But I’m not sure it will help them.”
SME: “Well they at least need to be aware of it.”
You: “Hmpfh.”
Your learners have needs, and your SMEs have knowledge and experience. But do those two things always line up? When creating learning content, SMEs with the best intentions can end up creating content that’s long on information, short on practical application, and wrapped up in a bullet-point PowerPoint bow.

In this session you’ll learn five key strategies for working more effectively with subject matter experts to create content that sticks. You’ll gain practical insights, tips, and resources for making the most of your SME’s expertise and for harnessing that power in a productive and helpful way. You’ll walk away better able to move your online content from simply conveying information to helping your learners solve the real problems they face every day.

In this session you will learn:

  • How to change the focus of your efforts from the SME’s expertise to the learner’s needs.
  • To negotiate out “nice-to-know” information
  • How to telp SMEs break down what they’ve learned over the years in a way that’s helpful to others
  • One simple question to determine what content should be included and what should be cut

Diane Elkins


E-Learning Uncovered

Diane Elkins is owner of Artisan E-Learning, a custom eLearning development company, and E-Learning Uncovered, where she helps people build courses they’re proud of. She has built a reputation as a national eLearning expert by being a frequent speaker at major industry events for ATD, The Learning Guild, and Training Magazine. Her favorite topics include accessibility, instructional design, and Articulate Storyline. She is co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series, as well as E-Learning Fundamentals: A Practical Guide, from ATD Press. She is a past board member of the Northeast Florida and Metro DC chapters of ATD.