How to answer about content curation?

Recently I have been giving interviews for the Instructional Design role and most of the employers ask how would you go about creating training materials if there is no access to SMEs.  All these years I had worked with SMEs who have the content ready and only at few instances I had to curate the content. 

Any suggestions on how to approach this question? How do you go about advancing with no access to SMEs or just have the topic on hand?

2 Replies
Helen Reid

A lot depends on the content your expected to create. 


If it is technical, business specific in an area you no nothing about then I would consider it a show stopper unless the business has extra budget to bring an expert in to help you.  A business needs to understand they play a vital role in the development of the content by helping supply the content or source of content and to ensure technical accuracy from the businesses perspective, providing review and sign-off.  The business should want to ensure it's sending the right message to its staff in line with business processes, protocols, culture etc.  My take if they can't it is potentially setting yourself up to fail.  I think there's is too much risk as you will most likely present content that will not be technically correct nor meet business need.

They may be just wanting to find out about your ability to research and discover (source content) which is sometimes required? Find out if the content is there... just not in one place? If this is the case, then you are half way there. This is where planning and documentation is important.  By providing clear outlines and plans for validation and sign-off will help ensure you getting the right info.  If it's in people heads... the business has not choice but to provide people power (a SME/SME's) to document what they know.  Otherwise you trying to make a cake with no ingredients.

If the content is generic, standard type content that all businesses would or might use or apply then research and access the content from out in the community.  It's usually not difficult to find out what the latest trends are etc.  It's important to note however the business needs to understand they will receive a generic off-the-self type product as you will not be able to customize it to the business.



Good luck.