Subject Matter Expert vs. Accomplished Performer What’s the diff?

Today, as a colleague studied some Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) she paused and asked, “What’s the difference between a subject matter expert and an accomplished performer?” I explained the difference this way– a subject matter expert is like a coach and an accomplished performer is like the MVP (most valuable player). The subject matter expert knows the material; the accomplished performer, on the other hand, is performing the behaviors. Another example would be a math teacher and the best math student in a class, a subject matter expert and an accomplished performer respectively. The subject matter expert is highly knowledgeable in a domain and the accomplished performer is applying the knowledge in an authentic context that is of interest to instructional designers and curriculum developers. Context matters when designing instruction.

There is a caveat. Sometimes the subject matter expert and the accomplished performer are the same person; my colleague is accustomed to that dynamic.

Note- accomplished performers are sometimes referred to as exemplars

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