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The extremely popular Learning Solutions Conference & Expo is quickly approaching us this month, so I thought I’d take a moment to mention a few things about the conference and give a sneak preview of my presentation that I will be giving on March 23rd at 10:45am entitled, “Micro-collaboration: Team Sharing to Build Highly Interactive Activities.” If you are not already registered to attend this event, I recommend looking into it. The attendance for this conference is expected to be huge; the Hilton in the Walter Disney World Resort has already sold out! If you are interested in taking a look at why you should attend and what types of offerings are available, visit the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo website.

Alright, with that said, it’s time to move on to the sneak preview of my presentation…

I have recently had the opportunity to interview Bill Horton, author of E-Learning by Design, for my upcoming book, MindMeld: Micro-collaboration between eLearning Designers and Instructor Experts. In our conversation we discussed the importance of developing a better-than-working relationship with subject matter experts and how essential it is to the success of online learning activities. While this may not be an easy feat to accomplish, there are some techniques that can help ensure your relationship with the SME is as fruitful as possible.

Designers must learn to understand why SMEs tend to feel under appreciated and then work to develop a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect to build off of. To do this, Horton has said it is vital to establish a quid pro quo type of relationship with the SME. A good way to start is by asking the SME the question of “What can I do for you?” Asking this shows the SME that their opinions and ideas are valued, and that you are willing to reciprocate the effort put forth into the relationship.

Horton also finds that it is imperative that designers do their homework and integrate what they learn into their conversations with the SME. By utilizing advanced vocabulary and a more-than-basic understanding about the subject, the SME will see that the designer is invested and passionate about the project. This will also allow you to actively engage them instead of just passively listening…

Come join me in Orlando to learn more!