Home E-Learning ELC 065: Pro Tips For Working With Subject Matter Experts

ELC 065: Pro Tips For Working With Subject Matter Experts


Subject matter experts or SMEs are usually an indispensable part of a learning development team. Even though they are on the same team, however, the SME and the learning professional may be living in different worlds. How can we build good relationships when working with subject matter experts and what can we do when issues and obstacles emerge? In this episode, I speak with two very experienced learning professionals who answer these questions, Dawn Mahoney and Diane Elkins. They offer insightful strategies and techniques for successfully managing issues with SMEs.

Dawn, CPTD, is the founder of Learning In the White Space, a boutique consultancy devoted to all things learning. She also writes on learning topics and is the author of the “Last Word” column for Training Magazine.

Diane Elkins is co-owner of Artisan E-Learning, where she helps companies, non-profits and government agencies get up and running with e-learning initiatives. She has been in the training and development field for 20 years. Diane is the co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series and is a regular contributor to the ATD Learning Technologies Blog.


  • Expert guidelines for working with subject matter experts
  • Role of the subject matter expert in instructional design
  • Qualities of a good subject matter expert to work with
  • How to start off in a good relationship when working with subject matter experts
  • How to get busy experts to commit the necessary time to your project
  • Difference between presentation reviews and storyboard reviews
  • How to mind meld with a subject matter expert (extract tacit knowledge from them)
  • How to prevent the learning experience from becoming a brain dump

TIME: 42 minutes

TRANSCRIPT: Download the
ELC 065 Transcript

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ELC 065: Pro Tips For Working With Subject Matter Experts

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