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The SME Test

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Why learning designers find it hard to work with subject experts, and how to do it better.

Why learning designers find it hard to work with subject experts, and how to do it better.

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  • Great insight
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  • This is excellent. Thank you for uploading it.
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  • No problem that you didn't check it out with me Norman. You've done a great job again with this slide show.
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  • Glad you were able to see it. I wanted you, Donald and Clive to ok it before I put it out. (this is called either 'courtesy' or 'sucking up to the great and good') but I couldn't figure how to send it to you in Slideshare, nor could I work out how to send personal messages on Twitter. And I couldn't find everyone's email address. What a failure I am as a geek!
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  • Briliant. It made me laugh out loud. I hope (mostly) that no SMEs were harmed in the making of this slideshow.
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  • 1. The SME test Dealing with Subject Matter Experts
  • 2. I’m Jenny. I’m a learning designer.
  • 3. I used to be a training designer. But now I’m a learning designer. Anyway …
  • 4. I work with SMEs – subject matter experts. Here’s one I used to work with – Smeaton
  • 5. He knows a lot about widgets. I mean a lot ! Go on, ask me anything!
  • 6. … which is good for me because I’m working on some elearning on An Introduction to Widgets.
  • 7. But it’s not always easy. Smeaton, why are widgets gizmo-shaped? It’s obvious, my dear …
  • 8. That’s the trouble. He doesn’t always realise how much he knows. As I said in the guidance notes, on page, oh, 74 was it?
  • 9. Every grain of knowledge in his head is linked to every other one.
  • 10. That’s why he’s an expert. He knows the links .
  • 11. Much of it unconsciously.
  • 12. I want just a few bits of knowledge for my course
  • 13. It hurts him But you’re missing … That’s not giving the complete picture … It’s not right to generalise like that.
  • 14. … he feels ill This is true of most widgets, but … The 1972 Widgets Act changed that for certain categories of widgets … Predominantly, under most circumstances, however …
  • 15. Sometimes I have to insist …
  • 16. Sometimes I have to insist … You’re hurting my links!!!
  • 17. Oops.
  • 18. Smeaton recovered but he hated my course and undermined it in the business areas Hnnnf, hnnnfff! Quite.
  • 19. What’s a designer to do?
  • 20. I asked Cathy Moore … Use the Action Mapping approach!
  • 21. I asked Cathy Moore … Start with the business change you want to make. Then work out the tasks people actually do, and devise some practice activities. You only need offer enough information for the learners to do that practice. That makes sense! blog.cathy-moore.com
  • 22. I asked Donald Clark… Make it contractual! Limit their sphere of activity by getting them to sign a strict schedule, along with agreements on delivery, format for comments, what they have to do and what they don’t do (learning and interactive design). Hey, we’re being leveraged ! http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com/2006/09/sme-subject-matter-egomaniacs.html Did you mention hay?
  • 23. I learned to use Clive Shepherd’s Learning Object Design Assistant to structure the questions I asked the experts. So this is a concept, not a procedure , Bellamy. Very good, sir, concept it is. http://clive-shepherd.blogspot.com/
  • 24. Now Smeaton and I get on famously … I just needed to ask the right questions.
  • 25. What do I need to know in order to stack widgets on a shelf? Well, their shape, the sizes they come in, the kinds of shelves … And how to unpack and stack them. That’s a procedure !
  • 26. … and that’s all.
  • 27. Of course, more remains to be said about ….
  • 28. Quite. That’s all .
  • 29. How can I tell her I adore her?
  • 30. Norman Lamont, Lloyds Banking Group

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