Our SMEs Don’t Agree with Each Other—and That Improves Our Simulations

Conference Archive

Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2019 - March 27, 2019

Launa Mallett


Sometimes there isn’t one correct answer. Training is straightforward when teaching a set way to do a task or explaining the best way to handle a situation. It is not so easy when even subject matter experts disagree about the right course of action. When your SMEs lack consensus, what do you teach your workers? Should you include the ambiguity that naturally occurs in complex situations as part of your simulations? How do you create computer-based simulations that are realistic, but not too complicated to develop and manage?

In this session, you’ll discover how to capture the richness of conflicting input from subject matter experts and use that information in your simulation design. You’ll compare how you gather input from your SMEs with a method of working through key decision points. You’ll look at strategies that help you determine whether your learners need to be able to sort through multiple possible actions where more than one option could be correct or wrong, or even deadly. You’ll then learn how to incorporate varying opinions into simulations where your learners can think through possible actions, select what they think are the best options, and measure their performance against that of experts. Go back to work ready to create linear simulations that incorporate the complexity of the real world, where often there is no single right answer.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Approaches for incorporating subject matter disagreement into training design
  • Methods to support learning when no set correct answer can be determined
  • How the complexity of multiple possible correct answers can make linear simulations more realistic
  • Strategies for designing simulations for decision-making practice and testing


Designers, managers, and senior leaders (directors, VP, CLO, executive, etc.)

Technology discussed in this session:



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