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Subject Matter Experts- Who, What, and Why

Over the past few years, the scope of education has diversified with many changes rolling up in the system. With online learning becoming a strong practice, the role of teaching has also evolved to suit the growing needs of the students. With all such developments, one cannot deny the importance of subject matter experts.

Who is a subject matter expert?
Subject Matter Expert (SME) are people who have extensive knowledge about a subject. They also make important decisions such as what to include in a syllabus. Of all the members of the course and syllabus development team, the SME is the best person to determine which subject matter will help the learners to achieve the desired learning outcome.

Subject matter experts or also known as SMEs are professionals who are uniquely qualified and carry advanced knowledge in a specific field. With a detailed and high level of knowledge in a particular subject, they are distinctly qualified to provide guidance and strategy.

What is the need for a subject matter expert?

The subject matter expert adds value to the course development process and plays an important role in the education sector. As a contributing member of the content development team, the SME provides content leadership in the following crucial areas:

Content selection

It is incredibly crucial to select the accurate type of content in education. Since SMEs have the expertise to select the right type of content, they play a very important role in the content selection procedure. They ensure that the right type of content is included in the curriculum.

Content evaluation

The role of SMEs is to sift through information, differentiating between high and low-value content. They can also quickly and easily determine what topics to keep and what to leave out. With their expertise on the subject, they sometimes also add relevant information which otherwise might have slipped out.

Content form

For an effective learning system, content should be delivered most efficiently. SMEs can use their expertise to shape the content and the form that it will take. For example, an SME can determine the best way to leverage subject matter for use in case studies, flashcards, and discussion questions.


It is crucial to ensure that the content must be right. The learning provider demands accuracy and the learner deserves it. SMEs add credibility to a course-development project and provide assurance that the subject matter is technically accurate.


SME, with their training and experience, can visualize the learning process as a path that leads from little or no knowledge of course content to mastery, of course, learning objectives. SMEs have the perspective to see this pathway as subject-matter requirements; they use that knowledge to develop content that helps learners reach the desired knowledge state.

Why is the role of subject matter expert crucial in today’s education scenario?

The role of subject matter experts is extremely important because they not only help to simplify the concepts but also enable fast and enhanced learning. A subject matter expert ensures a smooth and error-free learning process. It is important to create an engaging curriculum and so the role of subject matter expert is important.

Below are some pointers that explain the importance of subject matter experts.

Knowledge base

Subject matter experts have a significant knowledge base. They are updated with the current relevant trends and keep themselves upgrading with the changes. With a strong habit of continuous learning and exploring the sources related to the subject, they have a strong foundation of knowledge. Their knowledge base serves as an aid for the learners.

Out of the box thinking

Subject matter experts think differently than others. Being a subject matter expert in education technology liberates you to try your ideas in writing. While writing answers, you can always create your pattern of writing and teaching. It is only a subject matter expert who can make the content interesting and easy for the students to understand. A subject matter expert can create his/her style by adding examples, illustrations, diagrams, pictorial representation, etc.

Subject Expertise

A subject matter expert carries proficiency in a subject. They have the most in-depth knowledge of the subject. Most importantly, they add authenticity and depth to the content. They can deliver tasks quickly, efficiently, and accurately as compared to any other person. They add a variety of advantages to the education and overall learning system. By offering a critical eye to the content development process, they play a crucial role in the curriculum development process.

The SME plays a critical role in the instructional design process by providing needed content and offering a critical eye of the material. Working with a subject expert allows the development team to design an advanced curriculum that is rooted in expertise and experience in the field. When the instructional designer and expert work together throughout the development process, they can create an exciting and accurate curriculum for the learner.

Teachmint provides subject matter experts for multiple subjects. These online tutors are experts thereby facilitating easy and fast learning for students. Teachmint has collaborated with a number of subject matter experts to provide hassle-free learning of complex topics.

Teachmint is the leading ed-infra provider helping educational institutions improve their efficiency. With our offerings like LMS, attendance management, fee management system, and more, institutes can boost their productivity multifold.

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