In this video, I show you how to pull story
from your subject matter expert. I introduce you to Active Learning, and where Storytelling
fits. And I slip in 3 tips for working with Subject Matter Experts My name is Anna Sabramowicz, and you’re
watching Part 9 of Storytelling in Elearning. Enjoy! Are you familiar with Tuckman’s Stages of
team development? The Team development stages are: Forming,
Storming, Norming, and finally… Performing. Now, when working with subject matter experts,
many instructional designers wish to ignore storming and norming. They expect to move directly from forming
to performing. The moment some storming happens, this is
perceived as resistance on the part of the subject matter expert. The reality is that..
Often we are designing learning with subject matter experts who are not trained in learning
design. And we can perceive their lack of experience
in learning design as resistance, or storming. Consider if all you’ve ever done is create
amazing manuals. If someone says they are going to create online
learning, and they asked you to participate, your response would likely be to offer up
all of your manual creation knowledge – because that is all you’ve ever done. In most project situations, we are asking
our subject matter experts to step out of their comfort zone, out of the realm of their
expertise. That’s why we need to have supports in place
to help them be effective. Templates provide a very good way to transmit
experience, particularly through checklists and a framework in which to ask questions. TEMPLATES can be very handy when working with
subject matter experts Templates are useful. They help transmit experience. A template will help your subject matter expert
work their experience into your learning design process. Remember, the subject matter expert is out
of their comfort zone, they don’t necessarily know what is expected of them or what it takes
to design eLearning. A good template can help ease some of that
anxiety and help your subject matter expert move more quickly to performing on the team. Now, let me touch on a concept called Active
Learning, because it deeply guides our development process and the decisions Ryan and I make
when designing our learning. I’m going to be brief, because talking about
what Active Learning IS and implementing it would be a separate video series. In an Active Learning set up we ask our learners
to Gather information and ideas. We provide this through readings, video, recordings
& websites. In and of themselves these are passive forms
of learning. Essentially, one way interactions. But they
are a necessary part of Active Learning. Next up is Experiences. We help our learners have experiences through
simulations, debates and role play just to name a few. these are activities that help your learners
apply concepts and new skills. Experiences help your learners determine what
the results, or consequences, of their actions are. And then there is reflection. Reflection can occur by experiencing the consequences of actions,
through interaction with others like in a role play,
the learner actively deconstructing their learning process,
through discussions, learning journals and so on. The three conditions of active learning—when
used in combination—help learners learn, retain what they’ve learned, and most importantly,
help them prepare to actually use what they’ve learned in the real world. So, where does storytelling fit in Active
Learning? Storytelling, as a learning tool, is used
to support Active Learning cycle; enhancing your Experience and Reflection opportunities. We can always eliminate story if we want to,
but we will never get rid of the three essential active learning conditions: Gathering information
and ideas, Experiences and Reflection. Now I want to shift gears a little bit, because
I believe you can’t really do great work as an instructional designer if your subject
matter expert is not meshing with your team (or you!) So here are three lessons I’ve learned about
working with subject matter experts from my past projects. Lesson one – get a time commitment.
I once had two subject matter experts assigned to a project.
However, each of them could commit only about an hour of time each month.
Which meant that feedback on prototypes took over a month to receive.
A lack of time commitment to the project is very painful to deal with.
It kills momentum. So now I negotiate for dedicated subject matter
expert hours up-front. Without this commitment in writing, I don’t
move forward on the project. Lesson two: The boss should never be the subject
matter expert. They are usually too far removed from the
process. Your subject matter expert should be someone
who works in the area that the business wants to impact.
Your training needs to reflect the reality of the shop floor. Lesson Three: show n’ listen A prototype meeting showing working software
will give your subject matter expert an understanding of what is expected of them.
The kinds of interactions the team is working towards. AND during a prototype meeting your developer
can explain functionality, and propose solutions on the fly. What these lesson’s have taught me is that…
Team development is an essential skill of an instructional designer.
When I talk with a subject matter expert, that’s when the rubber meets the road—when
Instructional Design truly begins. Regardless of how much content I get up front,
and how great it looks, I never want to work on a solution alone.
I need to form, storm, norm and perform with my subject matter expert. We need to work
together to figure out the context for Active Learning. Anna Sabramowicz here, thanks for watching
and subscribing. I hope you got value out of this episode – team
development is huge and you need to be on top of this to really be an effective instructional
designer And now, I want to hear from you. Join the
conversation in the comments below: What are your tips for working with subject matter
experts? Well, onto Part 10! Are you pumped? Ryan will
finish the series off with some excellent BONUS advice on How to Steal… like an artist!