Keeping quality high when SMEs produce courses

Hi,

I have a client where we want to support the development of learning content by non-ID professionals e.g. SMEs developing simple e-learning. 

How could we support local learning development but still ensure minimum quality standards and consistency?

Would appreciate input from anyone who has actually implemented a similar plan.

My current idea/solution would to have a "learning" still QA each course, over a series of gated steps laid out in a "playbook". That way there is ID guidance, by freedom for SMEs to operate within that.

Bruce

8 Replies
Bruce Graham

Sara Reller said:

What do you have for templates and examples for them? Do they have any design training for creating trainings of any kind?


Hi Sara,

Pretty much no and no, (at the moment).

Examples we can do - but the trick is to try and create something to guide them that does not scare them away, so they go and do everything outside the "training fold".

Just not sure how to best move forward without seeming too rigid and rule-based, however....in my heart of hearts I think this is what may be needed to make this work.

Just interested in collecting some ideas before meeting and discussing with the client.

Thanks

Bruce

Sara Reller

If you give them more structure I think the people who need it will appreciate it and the people who will "get it" will find a way to work outside the system.

I recently did a module that had a scenario, just a little back and forth with choices and feedback. The person I was working with had edited one I'd done earlier and I thought she'd be able to work with the basic format. It was a disaster. Next time though I'm going to come up with a very structured fill in the blank sort of thing and start with that. They can take and manipulate that, but I think generally having more structure is helpful in these situations. 

I think if you have the opportunity you can then show the people who are most likely to go outside the fold how to work to bend the structure without breaking it. But those who just want to make it happen can work inside the nice safe walls.

Elizabeth Israel

i find that the less you make it about instructional design and the more about getting what is between their ears is more helpful.  One idea I used was giving the sme Dragon software enabling them to dictate things.  It helps to remember that it's all about getting the content from them and then you using your skills as an ID

Bruce Graham

Elizabeth Israel said:

i find that the less you make it about instructional design and the more about getting what is between their ears is more helpful.  One idea I used was giving the sme Dragon software enabling them to dictate things.  It helps to remember that it's all about getting the content from them and then you using your skills as an ID


Thanks Elizabeth.

I agree completely, however in this case they will be producing courses pretty much without us, (or at least that is the proposal...).

Bruce

Holly MacDonald

Bruce, I did a project along these lines a couple of years ago.

We did the following:

1. held a week long "boot camp" for the SMEs to learn basic ID and the tool. Part of it was working on a real project using the processes, templates, etc in a team. We created the teams deliberately and put stronger

2. developed a set of templates with working samples

3. L&D dept acted as coaches, some wanted more support than others (some NEEDED it more than others) 

4. Created design document/standards for 

What we didn't do, was to take the boot camp idea and make it more blended, so that there was ongoing performance support for those that did the boot camp and could be more scalable for new SMEs who would come on board (so an e-learning course).

Hope that helps

Holly

Holly MacDonald

Oops, Bruce, just saw that I hit on "reply" a little too soon. 

Point 1 should say:

1. held a week long "boot camp" for the SMEs to learn basic ID and the tool. Part of it was working on a real project using the processes, templates, etc in a team. We created the teams deliberately and put stronger team members in a type of "lead" role so that there was someone who had some context.

Sorry about that!

Steven McAneney

Bit late, but here's my penny...

This was a rule for technical publications not e-learning, which you might be able to adapt.

We had a fixed content structure (remember, this was technical).

  • System overview, including system objective, structure, and components in that order.

For each component:

  • Construction
  • Operation

Finally, and most importantly:

  • Peer review

If you can develop a similar guideline that both fits the content and e-learning tool they are using, perhaps to the extent of building courses with placeholders, it might work. The key is the peer review. The reviewer obviously should have some subject matter knowledge (as the final learners will), but not be an expert.

Is that what you were looking for?