ELearning Thought Leaders Series

The Ins & Outs of Working with Volunteer SMEs

September 24, 2019

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM ET

The greatest asset that associations have is a large pool of volunteer subject matter experts (SMEs). This enables communities of practice to create sophisticated educational products on cutting-edge topics at a lower cost. Nevertheless, education directors often say that working with member SMEs is like “herding cats” – or worse. This session examines the reasons for this frustration and ways to improve the experience and value of working with volunteer SMEs.

Dr. Aleckson has studied and researched the topic of SME collaboration for years. He published the book MindMeld: Micro-collaboration between eLearning Designers and Instructor Experts to help instructional designers of all types get more from experts. His proven methodology starts with having documented protocols and methods to encourage staff to create shared language, encourage formative feedback, and, most importantly, 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. Webinar attendees will learn tips and tricks to get experts to share their tacit knowledge (rather than explicit knowledge). Dr. Aleckson will also cover techniques 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 a sometimes-negative experience into a fulfilling experience for all.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will understand rationale for formal SME protocols
  2. Attendees will be able to list best practices for working with SMEs
  3. Attendees will be able to apply the MindMeld model to get more from SMEs
  4. Attendees will be able to create guidelines for picking SMEs
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