SMEs: From Smackdown to Nirvana

Conference Archive

DevLearn 2015 Conference & Expo - October 1, 2015

Dawn Mahoney

Senior Consultant
Learning In the White Space

Andrea May

VP Instructional Design Services
Dashe & Thomson

Subject matter experts (SMEs) are the lifeline of our work as instructional designers, trainers, and facilitators of learning. They bring the content to life and provide both relevance and context. Our goal should be to ensure the working relationship is the best that it can be. However, we are often speaking different languages to each other, causing the instructional design process—and, more importantly, communication—to break down. 

In this session, you will learn methods for improving communication between you and your SMEs and ways to change up the questions you ask to improve the responses you receive. You will explore seven SME archetypes and the challenges of working with each type, as well as the importance of speaking their language and losing the instructional design lingo and jargon you’ve become accustomed to.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to identify the various SME archetypes and ways of managing through the challenges each type presents
  • How to discern methods for improving communication between you and your SMEs
  • How to change the types of questions you ask your SMEs to respond to
  • How to replace instructional design lingo and jargon for clarity and SME understanding

Novice to advanced designers, developers, project managers, and managers.

Technology discussed in this session:


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