ACCESS is looking for teachers to serve as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for the 2023-2024 course development cycle. SME positions are currently limited to the following potential course projects. Courses classified as revision courses have some existing ACCESS materials that may be adapted in this development cycle. New development courses may not have current ACCESS materials that we can use in this development cycle.

If you are interested in applying to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME), please read the information below. Then, make sure to submit your application and sample LOT form via the SME Application Form by 5 pm on Monday, 8/29.


In most cases, SMEs author or revise content and assessments. While SMEs may incorporate appropriate outside content (external websites, reputable videos, etc.), all SMEs should expect to create a significant amount of original work.

SMEs are not required to be former or current ACCESS teachers. No travel is required. Any interested teacher may apply.


Training (via asynchronous online course modules) is required for all SMEs. The activities and products created as part of the training are critical in planning and developing the course. We develop courses using a backward design approach and expect all SMEs to use this approach. Topics covered in training include:

  • defining evidence of learning
  • meeting Quality Matters standards in online courses.
  • developing courses based on enduring knowledge and essential questions.
  • unpacking course of study standards into lesson objectives.
  • planning and scaffolding assignments for the online environment.
  • selecting and constructing meaningful assessments.
  • identifying opportunities for interactivity in courses.
  • building formative assessments.
  • developing and formatting media for the online format

PD credit will be awarded for successful completion of training. Training will start September 5 and end on October 2.


We expect this work to stretch from October 2023 — July 2024. SME Training will occur from September to mid-October. SMEs will develop course materials from October 2023 — June 2024.

A more precise schedule will be distributed the SMEs who are hired.

Compensation and Time

The total amount of time required for the work will vary by project. Those selected for SME positions will receive more information on time commitments and pay. Compensation will also vary by project.

The course development team may choose to hire a team of SMEs to work on larger projects, which would reduce the time commitment and total pay per SME. SMEs will have to report hours worked for biweekly pay.

If you have additional questions on this topic, contact Rachel Walker (

Development Team

In all cases, the SMEs will be working as a part of a development team that is led by an instructional designer. The ID will train the SME on ACCESS style, pedagogy, and needs. The ID will define the scope of work and will evaluate SME content and assessments based on QM and ACCESS standards. The ID oversees the building of the course and development of complex multimedia. The ID is also responsible for course accessibility.

The development team also includes both ACCESS and peer reviewers who are responsible for commenting on content, assessment methods, accessibility, and alignment with the course of study, ACCESS internal standards, and QM standards. Some teams may also include multiple SMEs to decrease the individual workload.

SMEs are primarily responsible for

  • aligning existing course content with the applicable course of study;
  • selecting, writing, and revising content within the course; and
  • designing and revising assessments to meet all relevant standards (Course of Study, Quality Matters K12 standards, internal ACCESS requirements).

Application Information

If you are interested in working on one of these courses as an SME, you must submit a SME Application Form and a sample Learning Object + Task form, depending on the project. Please see the project descriptions.

  • Applicants should develop their lesson based on a standard (or part of a standard) from the Alabama Course of Study for the course he or she would like to revise. If applying for multiple courses, you only need to submit one LOT form.
  • The work should be submitted on the Learning Object + Task form, with any necessary supporting materials (presentations, images, videos, answer keys) submitted as separate files.
  • The lesson should follow the ACCESS Learning Object + Task model, with three total parts.

Your lesson may be as long or as short as needed provided that:

  1. it fully covers your objective;
  2. it follows the ACCESS Learning Object + Task model; and
  3. it demonstrates thoughtful and meaningful instructional design.

Your application materials should be submitted by 5 pm on Monday, August 28. Successful applicants will be contacted by email. Online training will begin by September 5.

If you have any questions about the application process, submission, or about any of the scheduled projects, please contact Rachel Walker (


Feel free to distribute this information to anyone who may be interested. Applications are not limited to current ACCESS teachers.