Learn more about how Subject Matter Experts and Instructional Designers work together for online education!
There are two people behind the success of every online course worth taking: the instructional designer and the subject matter expert.
Managing the relationship with subject matter experts is one of the core skills instructional designers with The Babb Group have all mastered.
An instructional designer structures and organizes the elements of formal learning to optimize student success. The structures and order of how materials, expert commentary, peer-to-peer communication, and applied experiences are presented vary for every course, the program of courses, and even across an entire curriculum. Instructional design practices focus on creating experiences that help students to apply knowledge and test it before using it in real-life professions.
The offline or the online subject matter expert is the professor or instructor who is highly trained in a specific field of study. They are well-versed in the vocabulary of their fields, have a vast knowledge of the most important texts, and have worked in the field for a number of years. In an in-person course, an hour-long lecture with slides and demonstrations followed by peer discussion and questions is the structure most professors are used to and have mastered. That structure, though, cannot simply be recorded and posted online!
To reimagine an in-person lecture as part of an online course, the instructional designer and subject matter expert (SME) will present the SME’s knowledge using methods that encourage student engagement and interaction with the material, with their classmates, and with their instructor to create an all-new learning experience. They might source or develop online games to teach core concepts, record video bytes, produce rich media experiences, define discussion forums, and schedule synchronous or real-time video conferences.
Instructional designers know how to apply best practices in instructional design to courses on any subject and work with the SME to customize the learning experience. Best practices in instructional design are easy to define because student success is measured. Tests, assignments, forum comments in text, video responses, and examinations are all assessments that inform the student, the instructor, and the instructional designer how effective the learning experience has been.
Curriculum development and instructional design providers work with offline or online subject matter experts in a number of different ways, but making a strong connection is essential!
“Establishing trust and value are essential to working with any SME. I like to start by getting to know them and their experience. Have they taught this course before? Have they taught in the specific modality we are designing for? What is their vision for this course?” said Christina Archer, an Instructional Designer with The Babb Group. “In turn, I share my experiences with course development, educational technology, and the subject matter. This is a great opportunity to establish our roles, share any departmental expectations, and review the course design and development process.”
Does your college, university, or corporate learning and development department need the subject matter expert services? Then Contact The Babb Group, the leading subject matter expert consultant in the US to learn more.
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