Basic content map giveaway & tips for SMEs on building scenarios

Hi, everyone:

I just finished creating a content map for one of my clients and thought I'd pass along the template I use. Might be helpful to those developers who are relatively new and don't have their own. Some of the suggestions as to how SMEs can write engaging content might even interest the e-learning heroes among us.

In the next post, I'll share a doc that I send SMEs before I have them create any scenarios. It's based on Tom Kuhlmann's three C model. Hope you enjoy. --Daniel Brigham

13 Replies
Daniel Brigham

Natalia: you are welcome.

Heidi: The basic content template I've used for a few years now. Probably the most valuable part is the info on how SMEs can write engaging content. I think you should get to them before they put any words down, and some of them are really grateful for the advice. They are not writers after all, while I am.

The building scenarios information is tested as well--as I said, it's mostly Tom Kuhlmann's ideas. The three "Cs" is a nice mnemonic to boot. No doubt he know what he's doing. --Daniel

Joe Waddington

Daniel -

I'm feeling a little like i'm missing something here, because I can't even open the documents.  When I d/l them, they come out as a zip document.  And when I unzip them, there's a bunch of xml documents in the files.  I tried like heck to see the whole picture, but can't get it to show me anything but the individual parts.

Can you tell me what step i'm missing?

Joe Waddington

Thanks Daniel -  I was able to find readable versions by going to your web page.  (Nice page, by the way!)

I've recently been tasked with identifying / solidifying our agency's process for developing e-learning courses, and these documents, as well as information I found on your website, will be a great help! 

Thanks again!

Judith Blackbourn

Hi Joe, after you save the .ZIP document to a folder, rename the document with the .DOCX extension. Windows will try to scare you off with a message saying that changing the extension could cause the file to be unreadable, but go ahead and do it anyway!

And Daniel -- these are terrific! The instructions to the SMEs are very clear and concise. I like the way you challenge them to walk in the shoes of the learner (for a change)! I will certainly take these with me to my next assignment.

Shelly Blair

Thank you Daniel! These are really helpful!

Is anyone able/willing to share an example of a content map filled out (at least some of it)? I'm a trainer and we've decided to move a lot of our training into online courses. I've never used content mapping before since my background is classroom-based.


Thanks in advance!

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Shelly: Glad you found it useful. A few things:

1. A few pages from a sample content map is attached. I tend to think of a content map as just the text content and crucial images/diagrams.

2.  You might be interested in this post on my blog: Helping SMEs Write Content

3. Finally, if you have access to lynda.com, I created an Elearning Essentials: Storyboarding course, that covers a lot of similiar topics. Just drop me a line if you have any questions. --Daniel