Thursday, February 27 | 1 PM CT

The greatest asset that associations have is a large pool of volunteer subject matter experts. This enables communities of practice to create sophisticated educational products on cutting edge topics at a lower cost.  Nevertheless, education directors are often heard saying that working with member volunteers is like “herding cats” or worse.  This session will examine the reasons for this frustration and ways to use volunteers to advantage.  Dr. Aleckson has been studying this topic and publish the book MindMeld: Micro-collaboration between eLearning Designers and Instructor Experts to help instructional designers of all types get more from experts.  Doing this starts with having documented protocols to encourage staff to consistently utilize methods to create shared language, encourage formative feedback and most importantly to demonstrate that the project is managed professionally.  This respect for the volunteer expert’s time should create project momentum and increase the quality of the final program.  Attendees of this webinar will learn tricks on how to get experts to share their tacit knowledge vs explicit knowledge. Techniques will also be covered that staff can use to assist and reward SMEs.  Too often association staff takes member volunteer experts for granted and this webinar will demonstrate how protocols for working with experts can turn what can be a negative experience into a fulfilling experience for all.



  • Attendees will understand rational for formal SME protocols
  • Attendees will be able to list best practices for working with SMEs
  • Attendees will be able to apply the Mindmeld model to get more from SMEs
  • Attendees will be able to create guidelines for picking SMEs