ID and SME collarboration

Aug 18, 2022

I'd love to hear how you collaborate with your SMEs when developing assessments for your learning programs.

Do you design the assessment using the curriculum and then consult with your SMEs to ensure it is relevant?


Do you expect your SMEs to design the questions because they are the experts on the topic?

1 Reply
Bianca Woods

Hi Tina and welcome to the community!

When it comes to assessment questions, I tend to go with your first approach: using the curriculum to create the questions myself which I then run by my SME to make sure they're accurate and well connected to the learning goals.

While SMEs are valued experts in their field, it's less common for them to also be experts in learning and assessment. And they don't always remember what it's like not to be an expert in the topic. Because of that, SME-written questions can sometimes get caught up in unimportant details, include trick questions that frustrate learners, or miss assessing important components of the project's learning goals.

That said, I do like tapping into my SME's experience to explore what subtopics and skills should be included in the assessment. Their expertise can help you discover what aspects of the topic newbies struggle with most and/or what mistakes newbies make most that we want to be sure the learning program improves.

That takes advantage of the insights they have about what we should assess while removing the pressure of asking them to write targeted and effective assessment questions themselves.