Collaborating with SMEs: Ensuring Quality in eLearning


The efficiency of learning and the realisation of the goals set for that learning is directly influenced by the caliber of the information that is provided through e-learning.

Subject Matter Experts, often known as SMEs, play an important part in this sphere. They bring with them an in-depth comprehension of the material, insights into the requirements of the learner, and the ability to bridge the gap between the two.

This article looks deeper into the benefits that SMEs offer, as well as what constitutes successful collaboration and how to keep quality in eLearning initiatives intact.

The Role of SMEs in eLearning

The knowledge and experience that subject matter experts have in their respective fields make them an invaluable resource. They have a nuanced awareness of the subject matter’s complexities, which keeps them current with the most recent innovations and developments. Their participation in eLearning ensures that the content is current, correct, and complete, which enhances the overall quality of the learning experience.

For example, a subject matter expert (SME) in the field of data analysis could provide real-life examples, case studies, and even create activities that are based on everyday settings in a course that is about data analysis. Learners are able to more effectively apply the knowledge they have gained in their job as a result of this.

Collaborating Effectively with SMEs

The eLearning team and the SMEs have a mutually beneficial interaction with one another. Each participant brings a different set of knowledge and abilities to the table. Subject matter experts (SMEs) bring an in-depth understanding of the subject matter, while instructional designers and eLearning developers contribute competence in pedagogical design and technology. Open communication, mutual respect for one another’s areas of expertise, and clearly defined roles are essential ingredients in any successful collaborative effort.

The following are some approaches that can help to promote productive collaboration:

  • Set Clear Expectations: Ensure that the SMEs understand the course objectives, timeline, and their specific role and responsibilities.
  • Open Communication Channels: It is important to maintain a two-way line of communication, both giving and receiving feedback at regular intervals.
  • Integration: Ensure that information is accurate and relevant by incorporating subject matter experts (SMEs) at every stage of the development process, from design to delivery.

Ensuring Quality in eLearning

Working with SMEs is a key step towards producing high-quality eLearning, but the journey doesn’t end there. Other parts of quality assurance include doing exhaustive content reviews, maintaining a consistent course design, and incorporating items that may be interacted with in order to boost engagement among learners.

A good example is the fact that a corporation worked with an SME to develop a course on machine learning. In spite of the fact that the training was loaded with useful information, very few people finished it at first. After conducting an investigation, they came to the conclusion that learners were unable to keep up with lengthy text-based sessions. The content was reorganised to incorporate interactive films, simulations, and quizzes, which resulted in an increase in engagement as well as an increase in the percentage of users who completed the content.


The quality of the content included in eLearning courses can be considerably improved through collaboration with subject matter experts (SMEs). Their knowledge guarantees that the content of the course is not only correct and up to date, but also relevant to the individuals who will be taking it. However, effective collaboration needs open and honest communication, the establishment of reasonable expectations, and ongoing participation. In addition, the incorporation of interactive components and the maintenance of a design that is consistent both make major contributions to the quality assurance of eLearning.

If you are an eLearning professional, an instructional designer, or a member of a training team in an organisation, recognising the role of subject matter experts (SMEs) and effectively integrating them into your eLearning creation process can revolutionise the learning experience for you and the learners you teach.