Engineering before Innovation:
Technology Alone Doesn't Enable Learning

Engineering before Innovation:
Technology Alone Doesn't Enable Learning

When you think of how corporate training has evolved over the past decade, your mind likely goes to technology. Learning management systems have become more sophisticated. Everything is a lot cleaner and feels more professional. It’s easier than ever to assign particular education to particular employees as needed, and many of the barriers to accessing education have been significantly lowered.

But according to Kaplan CLO Dr. Bror Saxberg, we’re still missing an opportunity. While technology is enabling all sorts of advancements in the vehicles we use to deliver education to our employees, very little of what’s happening is actually grounded in the evidence available that shows us what will actually work. We make assumptions about what will work based on myths about how people learn, which have often proven to be incorrect.

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We need a new approach, grounded in learning engineering. We need to better understand what the evidence about learning is showing us, and use that to drive practical solutions for learning at scale. Engineering itself is not a foreign concept. But it’s largely been underapplied to building a better learning experience.

Your company has likely taken advantage of new technology in employee training. Online learning environments have become popular as the need to educate large populations of employees has increased. Online learning has also improved our ability to deliver a consistent training experience for remote and onsite employees. Some of the technological developments we’ve seen in corporate education have actually dovetailed nicely with what learning science data tells us about how people learn. Even if that’s accidental, it’s a good thing. But the bulk of what we develop is aiming to solve for the wrong problem: making it easier to teach, rather than easier to learn.

Kaplan continues to dedicate significant resources toward broadening our understanding of what learning science says about learning…to create effective and scalable solutions for clients. Using evidence-based principles, we aim to revolutionize the way corporate training is managed and administered, improving outcomes for employees and, ultimately, the company as a whole.

Learning science may lack the flash and flair that technology can give us by itself. But if learning science isn’t driving our advancements in technology, is there anything beneath the flash and flair?  

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