Evaluating Expertise


By: Kelly Smith; Photos by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

It is often hard to realize how much you know about a subject when you are in the thick of it. This was especially hard for me to comprehend as a teacher. All those little eyes looking up at me, believing with their whole heart that I knew everything about the world. In truth, none of us know everything, but we are all experts in what we practice on a daily basis.

As a reading specialist I would empower my students with automaticity, the ability to do something without thinking. So if you find yourself answering friend's questions about Instagram like a pro, setting up a photo shoot while talking to your grandma about the news, or dominating a conversation about social media best practices, then chances are you are an expert. Just in case, here are three areas with corresponding questions to evaluate your expertise.

  • Knowledge/Comprehension. Have you spent a significant amount of time learning about the subject? Can you explain the information to someone else who has no prior knowledge of the subject?
  • Application/Adaptation. Are you confident when performing a task? Can you apply the principles of your subject in a variety of ways to different situations?
  • Organization/Evaluation. Can you create new situations and tasks by incorporating a variety of ideas? Can you judge the success of a project and create new goals for effectiveness based on your experience?

Alt will always be geared towards what YOU want. Let us know if there are new topics that need to be explored, new social media roles that need to be addressed, or old topics that are no longer relevant. And if you are an expert, then we most definitely want to hear from you.