“Expert skill or knowledge in a particular field.” That’s the definition of expertise.
Many learning and development (L&D) practitioners landed in this profession because of their expertise. Companies often conscript people gifted in a certain area to become teachers and trainers of others. That mainly happens because learning programs are tied to a particular subject. A need arises and companies look for the subject matter expert (SME) who knows the material to teach others. It’s a natural and even logical reaction. It happens all the time in organizations. Learning departments often start by building around a group of SMEs.
As I’ve said before, there is nothing wrong with SMEs transitioning to the L&D role. Many of today’s L&D pros took this path into the learning profession. I don’t question your expertise in the subject area that you teach. That’s an important skill to have, and obviously something your organization values or you wouldn’t have been invited to lead learning programs.
However, if you’re going to own your expertise in the L&D field, you must extend beyond your subject area. You must match your subject matter expertise to instructional design (ID) expertise. Build your L&D expertise as you link your SME knowledge and ID skills. [Read more…]