Tip #156: Designing Training with SMEs #3

We have identified the training methods, time frames, reference documents and audiovisuals for each learning objective, to complete the lesson plan design phase.

The next step in working with SMEs is the actual creation of the training materials.

We walk through the lesson plan, discussing the training materials that need to be created. This includes interactive exercises as well as reference materials.

For each module, we identify:

  1. What information is necessary to create the relevant interactive exercises. For example, we discuss the key points that should be covered in questions for a questionnaire, or what the focus of a case study should be, etc.
  2. What reference materials are needed and whether they currently exist or will have to be written.
    • If they currently exist, we identify where to find them, who authored them, and, if necessary, who will obtain permission to use them.
    • If they need to be created, we identify what the scope and complexity should be and who will draft them.
  3. Who will be responsible for providing the content for the exercises and the reference materials.
  4. Who should be involved in the review of the draft materials.
  5. What the design timeline should be.

We identify deadlines for key milestones by working backwards from the scheduled date of the training. Our timetable typically includes product and activity deadlines for both the SMEs and the curriculum designer (CD).

The amount of time allocated for each step in the process will depend upon the complexity of the material, the number of SMEs involved, the extent of the edits anticipated and the number of editors involved, the time it takes to create necessary visuals or obtain permission to use copy written materials, etc.

However, regardless of the length of the actual time line, the mileposts are approximately the same:

  • The SMEs submit the necessary content for the interactive exercises and reference materials.
  • The CD drafts the exercises, and edits and formats the reference materials.
  • The CD and/or SMEs identify and communicate the need for additional content, as appropriate. This includes the answer keys for each activity.
  • The CD submits the drafts to the SMEs so that they can review the materials for accuracy in terms of content and language.
  • The SMEs return their edits to the CD.
  • The CD makes the necessary edits.
  • The CD formats the materials into a participant manual format: title page, table of contents, agenda, learning objectives, presenter profiles, individual modules with activities and reference materials, graphics, etc.
  • The CD sends the draft of the participant manual to the SMEs for additional edits and revisions.The CD makes the final revisions and sends the participant manuals to printing.
  • The printed participant manuals are reviewed, collated, organized, and then possibly mailed to the training location.
  • The training occurs.

There is a similar process and timeline for the design of accompanying audiovisual materials, which are coordinated with the design of the participant manual.

This process results in the written and audiovisual materials that will enable the participants to learn and to demonstrate their learning.

There is another different but related process to prepare materials that will enable the trainer to successfully facilitate the training.

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