Subject Matter Expert

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) work with Content Creators and Editors to provide expertise in their relevant subject area. They act as guides to ensure that the educational content being created is accurate, complete, and up to date.

Please refer to the Guidelines for reviewing content when conducting content reviews.

Please keep an eye out for @faculty-smes pings in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at and respond as you are able.

Please be aware of Expectations for Active Faculty Members and for your specific role.

The Training Team also leans on SMEs to help evaluate suitable educational content added to the LearnWP Topic Vetting project board by following the steps outlined in the Vetting Topic Ideas handbook page.

Therefore, a typical workflow for an SME can look something like:

  1. Vet topic ideas in areas you’re an expert in
  2. Work with a Content Creator by answering their questions and providing guidance around content development 
  3. Work with Editors by validating changes coming from their reviews

When vetting Topic Ideas, it’s best practice to share which issues you are going to review in the #training channel, and it’s also recommended to perform periodic sweeps of the Ready to Create column in the Content Development project board to ensure content stays fresh and priorities still match.

Working with Content Creators
When a vetted topic idea moves into the Ready to Create column, the Content Creator who picks it up may have questions or require guidance while writing the educational content. SMEs can help by providing guidance when requested by the Content Creator; these requests may come as a comment on the GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. issue, a direct message in Slack, or a general request for assistance in the #training channel.

SMEs are not expected to create any of the content, but they are leaned on for their topic area expertise when called upon.

Working with Editors
There may be times when Editors are reviewing the drafted content but stumble upon questions about the subject matter. While the Content Creator should be the first point of contact for questions, the SME who vetted the topic may come in during this phase as well to assist the Editor with any clarifying questions and to ensure the review meets the overall requirements and objectives of the content. Editors will usually pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” the @faculty-smes group in Slack when they need SME help, but are also encouraged to contact SMEs directly if their area of expertise is needed.

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