Are you having trouble developing your eLearning quickly? Have you found that the bottleneck involves your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)? Here are some ideas to help speed up projects by involving Subject Matter Experts throughout the entire eLearning development process.
You’ve jumped through hoops to get an eLearning project scheduled with your busy team and they are all ready to run, but your Subject Matter Expert hasn’t yet come up with the content. Or, you’ve busted your bones turning around a great eLearning project in record time only to be left with your team waiting idly to get the review back from your Subject Matter Expert. Sound familiar? If you’ve been in the eLearning industry for even a short amount of time, you’re probably nodding knowingly.
If Subject Matter Experts are holding you up, this article will give you some ideas on how you can speed up production by involving them more effectively.
1. Empower Subject Matter Experts to add content directly inside your authoring tool
Allowing your Subject Matter Expert to create courses themselves can help you save time and keep costs down. If you are concerned about instructional and design standards, there are eLearning tools that let you easily create courses from a Master Theme (template). Since these themes are already designed and developed, Subject Matter Experts have the structure needed to produce high-quality eLearning that is consistent with your other courses. This will help you create more projects quickly and reduce the costs associated with hiring additional staff.
Later, during reviews and iterations, instead of having to copy and paste new content or amendments, ask your Subject Matter Expert to add it directly to the course themselves. This saves you from having to repeat the work that they have already done. Cloud-based tools, such as Elucidat, help make the process easy. Simply give your Subject Matter Expert access to edit the course and they can jump online from their own computer.
There’s no need for you to package the files up and send them via email, nor is there a need to manage multiple versions of the course. All changes are automatically saved and synchronized so anyone working on the project is always using the latest version.
2. Keep Subject Matter Experts in the loop throughout the entire project
Instead of just bringing Subject Matter Experts in when you need them, involve them early so you can make sure they clearly understand your eLearning development process, your project goals and your objectives.
Early collaboration can help your Subject Matter Expert buy in to what you’re developing. By involving Subject Matter Experts early, they will feel more like a part of the team. This will make it easier to keep communication channels open and avoid any mistakes.
3. Embrace online collaboration
Subject Matter Experts are busy people with full-time jobs. You’ll often run into delays when you’re waiting for your Subject Matter Expert to review your projects. To keep costs under control, you should try to remove any bottlenecks.
It can be particularly challenging when you have two or more Subject Matter Experts working on one project. To ensure you keep everyone on track, make sure you use tools with inbuilt review and feedback functionality so you can track changes and monitor version control.
If you’re still asking stakeholders to review eLearning in a Word document with screenshots, you’re wasting valuable time and money. This process is difficult to track and manage. Instead of relying on email and Word docs, use online tools to collaborate, review and share feedback in real time.
Final Suggestions To Help You Better Involve Subject Matter Experts
- Make sure everyone reviewing the project has access to the most up-to-date version. The best way to do this is to use an eLearning tool that automatically updates and keeps the project current.
- Use a tool that tracks and manages review cycles and changes. For example, Elucidat has an easy-to-use comment tool that lets Subject Matter Experts add notes for the rest of the team. You can quickly see what changes or additions have been made and who made those changes.
- Use a tool that lets you sign off on changes inside the project itself. This makes it easy to keep the updates and changes together in one place.
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