Relationships are essential for success. Experts and instructional designers frequently receive curriculum design assignments to develop courses for employees. However, the success of the instructional designer largely depends on the relationship with subject matter experts. They have to play an equal role in the elearning program design. SMEs and IDs can unite forces to create innovative learning experiences for the learner.

What is a Subject Matter Expert?

Every course starts with the knowledge of a Subject Matter Expert (SME). They are individuals that have a deep understanding of the specific method, technology, function, material, and products related to an organization. Furthermore, they help to create more meaningful elearning content that can achieve the desired outcome. Without SMEs, the content for an online learning course is incomplete, without relevant and current information. The objective here is not to mainly make convincing content with slide turner connections, but to create a professional program with a very a well-organised direction.

Subject Matter Experts and Design Thinking

Design thinking is a complete conceptualisation of a project that focuses on the customer. It covers a full range of disciplines and methods across definition, ideation, testing, prototyping, and empathy. Therefore, it is best to develop design thinking with Subject Matter Experts distinctively for this ideation. You need to make sure that your advance workshops and ideation sessions are completely influenced by design thinking approaches. They must help to fully involve customers with your cross-functional teams at every stage of the course. If the group works together, they can easily collaborate and identify business challenges. Furthermore, they will also come to know market opportunities, think about a list of similar ideas, and actionable solutions and opportunities. They can also prioritise these ideas down to shortlisted candidates, and associate and choose a new design that can later be prototyped and tested.

The Bottom Line

Understand the value SMEs bring to course development. Subject Matter Experts are content specialists. Of course, Instructional Designers are learning experts. Understanding the difference to a large extent will help boost this development teamwork. Success depends on collaboration to reinforce with strong contact and cooperation. When SMEs’ and IDs’ efforts unite to keep course content attentive to learners’ requirements, projects will be creative and optimistic. The results will be helpful courses that deliver business goals.

Author's Bio: 

If you are an eLearning designer, you should consider using the agile instructional design for your learning initiatives. Unlike the traditional methods of course creation, the agile method offers some significant benefits that will ensure that your results are outstanding yet also efficient. Below, we look at some of the top benefits of the agile design method.

Highly Interactive
Agile instructional design is heavily focused on the learners and how they will interact with the course material. At every step of course development, the needs of the learner and the manner in which they will participate and engage with the course will be taken into consideration. As a result, course developers are able to develop training materials in exactly the way a learner would find it easy to understand. This is one of the reasons why many instructional designers are switching over to agile design. After all, if you can produce high-quality, engaging content using agile, why bother wasting time on other, inefficient instructional design methods?

Rapidly Produce Content
A big challenge faced by most course developers is the time required for developing training material. This is mostly because developers usually tend to focus on creating the entire content of the course all at once. Obviously, this is normally a massive undertaking fraught with so many issues that the project will end up taking a lot of time. But with agile design processes, designers can now develop courses faster, using less time and fewer resources. This is because agile methods look at the course development process as consisting of little chunks of content that need to be developed sequentially. Only when one section is finished can the development team move on to the next section. This process of course development ensures that the training material is created within a short period of time.

Better Collaboration
A huge benefit of the agile design process is that it facilitates easier collaboration among multiple individuals. Everyone involved in the course, right from the organization that invested in its development to the actual learners, can collaborate with each other and offer suggestions to improve the course. As a course developer, this gives you the chance to hear the feedback and understand which aspect of the course needs to be developed and what new, potential features should be implemented. This can go a long way in helping you fine-tune your next course.

No Last Moment Revisions Necessary
In the traditional course development scenario, developers often tend to make numerous changes and revisions to the content. This mostly happens because the course is developed all at once, and then largely revised later on at the end of development. As a consequence, designers often need to correct a lot of errors to ensure that the training material complies with expectations. However, since agile development involves completing the course in portions, all errors and changes are addressed along the way. As such, last-minute, large-scale revisions become unnecessary.