Tips for Interacting with the SME on Content-Related Issues February 5, 2007Posted by elearningtyro in Instructional Design, Useful Resources.
During the input collection process or during the storyboard development stage, an Instructional Designer (ID) might require content-related clarifications from the Subject Matter Expert (SME).
Here are a few instances in which an ID shall raise content-related queries or issues to the SME.
1) Missing contents: It is recommended to raise the SME query for contents that do not have required information.
For example, consider that there is an abbreviated term called ‘ICT’ without any expansion in the SME’s source content. In such a case, the ID shall raise the following query to the SME:
“This course has a term called ‘ICT’ without any expansion. Please provide the expansion for the same.”
It is to be noted that this query can be raised only after a thorough exploration on the abbreviated term (like search in Internet or in other resources) at the ID end. Then, the ID shall inform the SME with the following note:
“This course has a term called ‘ICT’ without any expansion. From an article relevant to this course, I found the expansion of the term ‘ICT’ to be ‘Information and Communication Technology’. Please confirm if it is correct.”
2) Complex, ambiguous, and lengthier sentences: It is advisable to make a note to the SME on sentences that are complex, lengthier, and ambiguous.
For example, the content provided by the SME may contain complex, ambiguous, and lengthier sentences. While junking them into precise or shorter sentences, there is a possibility of content loss. In such cases, the ID shall inform the SME with the following note:
“This sentence looks complex and ambiguous. However, I have tried to make it precise and shorter. Please let me know if I can proceed with my sentence formation. Alternatively, please provide a simpler sentence for content clarity.”
3) Redundant or irrelevant sentences: It is better to make a note to the SME on redundant or irrelevant sentences in the source content.
For example, the source content may contain information that is redundant or irrelevant to the context. In such cases, the ID shall make the following prior notification to the SME on the deletion of redundant or irrelevant information:
“This sentence looks redundant or irrelevant to the context. Please let me know if I can remove this particular sentence.”
Hope the aforementioned tips for interacting with the SME on content-related issues are sufficient for a novice. However, I will update this post if I acquire any additional information.