When Your SME Doesn’t Understand That Understand Isn’t a Learning Objective

You went to college for this. You studied theories and design. You know that the learning objectives should be measurable.

But they are adamant that the learner needs to understand this topic.

But how do you create a good instructional design when the learning objectives aren’t gold standard.

When you talk about the learning objectives, your SME might believe that vague is professional and fancy. They might be transported to their college days with a syllabus that only provided a super high level outline of learning expectations.

Tip #1

Instead, focus on the shared outcomes.

Is your SME a business owner? programmer? application support? Most SMEs are results driven – and they will understand more about the outcome rather than the objective.

When you communicate the ideas and seek approval for the course – talking about the outcomes might make the process easier.

Tip #2

Focus more on obtaining approval for the content rather than approval on the learning objectives.

If a part of your process is that the SME needs to review the whole course and the objectives, you can shift your focus more on the course content rather than be firm on the creation of the course objective.

You may say “understand compliance issues” for the objective, but the course may list the specific compliance issues, how to find the hotline number and when to call it.

Tip #3

Sometimes, with working relationships – it’s about the longterm relationships and initially, to build a stronger relationship for the future – let it go.

Especially with an sentence in a PowerPoint deck, your learner may not even remember it – but your SME may remember the push back.

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