Purnima Valiathan

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Collaborating With Subject Matter Experts

Framework for ID-SME Interface

Subject matter experts (SME) can either be Workplace SMEs or Academic SMEs.  If the domain experts are Workplace SMEs, they will not understand pedagogy. If the domain experts are Academic SMEs, they will understand pedagogy, but may not be in touch with workplace requirements and problems.

SMEs are well-versed with the content to be disseminated – the what of learning, but may not be as knowledgeable with the methodology – the how of learning. This makes the material that they create content-centric as opposed to learner-centric, which is the focus of Instructional Designers.

SMEs are just about catching up with Technology. Integrating ICT with content (again, the how) is yet another challenge they face in designing and delivering effective and engaging learning material.

This framework we use at ID Mentors helps us to collaborate better with SMEs.

Here is a course that Subject Matter Experts can take to make the content they design learner-centric.



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We are a small team of passionate people with 30+ years of combined experience in instructional design, training, technology and media. Our mission is to enable every kind of knowledge giver in the society to discover the power of Instructional Design, so that they may serve content, just right.


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