Progressive Place

Thursday, January 08, 2009

When SMEs create their own instructional materials, beware

Here are 2 caveats to observe, when letting Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) create their own learning materials. These rules equally apply to web content, user guides, comedy sketches, and anywhere else the quality of the writing may affect the outcome.

  1. Be sure to point out to management the likely differences in outcomes between "better than nothing" and actual designed instruction. The IDL (instructional design) literature is full of metrics for identifying desired learning outcomes, and how well various examples achieved them. Even if you're not responsible for creating the content, you are responsible for having gone along with the decision. And, if heaven forbid something goes drastically wrong because somebody didn't learn something they needed to know to do their job, you don't want to end up the goat.

  2. Exercise editorial control over all content, be sure it is included among your deliverables, and that your time is budgeted to do it. And, BTW, templates are only useful if their use requires instruction in how to use them. Otherwise they'll be applied ignorant of their purpose; or, worse, dismissed as bureaucratic nonsense.


Post a Comment

<< Home