Sharing What Works

March 16 – 18, 2016 Orlando, FL

Register Now Includes:

LS705 SMEs: From Smackdown to Nirvana

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Thursday, March 17

Management and Strategy

International South

Subject matter experts (SMEs) are the lifeline of work for instructional designers, trainers, and facilitators of learning. SMEs bring the content to life and provide both relevance and context. However, it can often seem like you and your SME are speaking two different languages, causing the instructional design process and, more importantly, communication to break down. How can you work better with and coach SMEs through your design and development processes to better ensure a positive working relationship and, most importantly, a successful learning initiative?

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 how to employ a coaching framework with SMEs and the importance of speaking their language—losing the instructional design lingo and jargon you’ve become accustomed to. You will find this session interesting and entertaining as you explore the various types of SMEs you’ll encounter.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Methods for improving communication between you and your SMEs
  • Possible ways to change up the questions you ask the SMEs to respond to
  • A coaching language and framework
  • How to replace instructional design lingo and jargon for improved clarity

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

Technology discussed in this session:

Dawn Mahoney


Learning in the White Space LLC

Dawn J. Mahoney is the owner of Learning in The White Space. Training and development isn't just what she does; it's who she is. Dawn is passionate about her work, and she believes in developing people through better training, better instructional design, and better conversation. Activities and provocative questions keep things interactive, engaging, and informative. Dawn does this work because she loves to see the exact moment when learning "dawns" on people.

Andrea May

VP Instructional Design Services

Dashe & Thomson

Andrea May is the vice president of instructional design services for Dashe & Thomson. Andrea has 18 years of experience consulting, designing, developing, and delivering customized training programs for large organizations. Her early career was spent leading documentation and training efforts for organizations such as General Mills, Thomson Reuters, and Saudi Aramco as they implemented SAP at US locations and abroad. Since 2009, Andrea has designed and managed the development of national certified employee training programs for the propane industry. She also holds a master of fine arts degree in directing from the University of California, Irvine.

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