Great advice about SME sign off

20 Aug

This week I’ve been reading Stephanie Dedhar’s “Five days to better e-learning” blog posts. Her insights and advice are excellent and I fully recommend checking out her blog:
http://stephaniededhar.wordpress.com/

Day 5, entitled “Sanity check!” contained an important section on getting a second opinion from an SME. Personally I will never forget the experience of getting a second opinion from an SME just before going live with an e-learning project. It’s a long story about being given the project at the last moment and being told that the content had been signed off by the SME (three long hours speaking to the SME over the telephone suggested otherwise).
Stephanie suggests pinning down your SME before going live to make sure that the content is accurate. However, she also advises to be very firm about the scope of SME involvement and review. While an SME can confirm that the content is accurate, an SME, according to Stephanie, “can’t undo your improvements to tone, structure, flow and interaction design.”
I will certainly be taking this advise to heart next time I ask for a second opinion from an SME.

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