External Expert Tool

This protocol helps teams engage with external experts to improve their sprint design.

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Use this tool to:

  • Engage with external experts and relevant research to help inform the design of your sprint

  • Develop a research-informed approach to the sprint design

  • Avoid ‘group think’ through seeking external challenge


  • Step 1

    Define the need (5 mins)
    Make a list of the questions/ wondering you feel as a group you would benefit from gaining external expert input on:

    - We are wondering about the best approach to...
    - What research could support us in teaching...
    - What errors do educators often make when teaching...

    These needs will help you to identify what kind of expert you need to contact. The expert should have a deep understanding of the specific content area, expertise in pedagogical approaches or preferably both!

  • Step 2

    Identify your expert (10 mins)
    As a group you now need to identify an appropriate expert. As a group discuss and take notes in response to the the following questions:

    - Who are the leading researchers in this area? Consider who has published particular books, reports or written leading resources.
    - Who are the instructional/pedagogical experts in your system in this area? e.g. highly regarded instructional coaches, advisors and consultants.
    - Who have members of the team heard speak about this area at research-based conferences?
    - Who else might might be able to help inform our design with leading research or knowledge of best practices?

    From your list of potential experts prioritise up to 3 people you might want to contact in preference order.

    - Does anyone in the group know them? Do you know anyone who knows them and might make an introduction?
    - Select a person in the group to make contact with each of your identified experts via email.

  • Step 3

    Interview your expert (20 mins)

    - Prepare 1-3 questions you would like to ask your expert/s
    - Either ask your expert for 15-20 mins of their time to have a Skype meeting or phone call or if they would be happy to answer some questions via email (email questions are often easiest)
    - Schedule and complete the interview (Skype, phone or email)
    - Record notes during the interview

  • Step 4

    Adapt design (15 mins)

    - Review the research and advice provided by your expert/s
    - As a team consider where further follow-up reading is required
    - Consider how this new external advice might inform the design of your sprint
    - We recommend that you send a follow-up thank you note to the experts. Letting them know how you used their input, and the impact on student learning might help to build a longer-term relationship with them.