What is Learning Engineering?

Learning Engineering is a process and practice that applies the learning sciences using human-centered engineering design methodologies and data-informed decision making to support learners and their development.

What is ICICLE?

IEEE ICICLE is a volunteer professional organization committed to the development of Learning Engineering as a profession and as an academic discipline. ICICLE is part of the IEEE Standards Association’s (IEEE-SA) Industry Connections (IC) program.

Richard Tong, CEO of Squirrel AI, facilitating a workshop at ICICLE’s 2019 Conference on Learning Engineering.

Richard Tong, CEO of Squirrel AI, facilitating a workshop at ICICLE’s 2019 Conference on Learning Engineering.

What does ICICLE do?

ICICLE has convened over 60 organizations to provide definition and guidance for the development of Learning Engineering. ICICLE’s SIGs hold monthly meetings, participants present at a wide range of conferences, and we gather annually to discuss the state of Learning Engineering.

Originally, ICICLE began in 2017 with the objective to deliver:

  • a set of technical resources for Learning Engineers

  • a Conference on Learning Engineering

  • a white paper defining Learning Engineering

Those original objectives evolved into an entire suite of opportunities for Learning Engineers to explore the range of technical, scientific, and policy matters concerning the profession; a conference series; and a Proceedings documenting the state of the art.

As ICICLE continues to support the growth and development of Learning Engineering, it will continue to conduct symposia and conferences as well as opportunities for publication.

Bror Saxberg, VP of Learning Sciences at The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Keynote address at ICICLE’s 2019 Conference on Learning Engineering.

Bror Saxberg, VP of Learning Sciences at The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Keynote address at ICICLE’s 2019 Conference on Learning Engineering.

What has ICICLE accomplished?


Between 2017 and 2019, ICICLE formed eight Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as a collaborative resource to support the growth of Learning Engineering.

These groups represented the range of activities with which a Learning Engineer may be involved including:

  • AI and Adaptive Technologies

  • Data Governance and Privacy

  • Design for Learning

  • Competencies, Curriculum, and Credentials

  • Learning Engineering Among the Professions

  • Learning Technology Data Standards

  • xAPI and Learning Analytics

  • XR for Learning and Performance Augmentation


The SIGs were provided with technical resources and were asked to contribute to what became ICICLE’s 2019 Conference on Learning Engineering. This inaugural event brought over 200 professionals from industry, academia, and government to discuss and debate the question: “What is Learning Engineering?”


In December of 2019, ICICLE will be publishing the Proceedings of the conference. The document will feature the work of conference participants and will highlight the work accomplished by the SIGs. Just as the conference was designed as a conversation as opposed to a traditional reading-of-papers, the Proceedings will exist as an artifact produced out of the conference and will provide a baseline against which future development in the profession and academic discipline of Learning Engineering may gauge growth.


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Recent News and Upcoming Events


On October 17th at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Michael Jay will be discussing learning engineering and what people can gain from participating in ICICLE.

Dev Learn CONFERENCE,October 23rd-25th

Two concurrent Learning Engineering sessions will be held at the upcoming DevLearn Conference.

  • In When Learning Engineering Meets Instructional Design on October 24th, Ellen Wagner, Learning Engineering Among the Professions SIG Chair, will explore the ways in which instructional designers of the future can better prepare to collaborate with learning engineers assigned to enterprise learning initiatives.

  • At Mission Control: Launching Learning Engineering at Mars, Inc. on October 25th, Trish Uhl and Rachel Horwitz will present a case study session that outlines a real-world example of learning engineering put into practice at iconic candy company Mars Inc.

I/ITSEC CONFERENCE, December 2nd-6th

At I/ITSEC a panel, Learning Engineering: A New Academic Discipline and Engineering Profession, with Michelle Barrett, Robby Robson, Dylan Schmorrow, Shelly Blake-Plock, moderated by Avron Barr, will discuss and develop recommendations regarding learning engineering as an academic and career field on Wednesday, December 4th at 10:30 AM.

New Publication on Learning Engineering

eLearning Guild published a research report, Learning Engineering: A Primer, by Ellen Wagner, Learning Engineering Among the Professions SIG Chair, which explores how learning engineering is expected to impact Learning & Development.

Learning Engineers present at iFest

At iFest conference on Tuesday, August 27th, Learning Engineering sessions took place with ICICLE members:

  • Dina Kurzweil, Design for Learning SIG, presented on Instructional Designers and Learning Engineers of the Future.

  • Jim Goodell, Competencies, Curriculum and Credentials SIG Chair; Michelle Barrett, AI and Adaptive Technologies SIG Chair; Shelly Blake-Plock, Chair; and Ellen Wagner, Learning Engineering Among the Professions SIG Chair, discussed Engineering Better Learning: Practical On-Ramps to the Emerging Practice of Learning Engineering session.


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Publish with ICICLE

All attendees of the 2019 IEEE ICICLE Conference on Learning Engineering are eligible to submit papers and presentations to the post-conference Proceedings publication. See the conference page for details.

The purpose of ICICLE’s Proceedings is to document the state of the profession and to provide evidence of growth in the development of the competencies and capabilities of Learning Engineers. Unlike traditional conference proceedings, ICICLE’s documentation takes the form of a conversation and invites a variety of ways of thinking and media through which to explore Learning Engineering.


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Participating Organizations

ICICLE is an entity-based activity. This means that our official members are the organizations that take part in our work. Through out SIGs and Conferences, employees and representatives of our participating organizations are able to take part in meaningful activities at no cost.


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In the Media

“As learning and performance support technology has continued to evolve, becoming more complex and increasingly more sophisticated, eLearning and digital learning professionals working in education, enterprises, and agencies have recognized their need for new, more sophisticated skill sets. Among these are data visualization, programming and coding, and techniques from learning science and data analytics.” Learning Engineering: Making Education More "Professional"A Q&A with Ellen Wagner, Campus Technology

“Despite exponential growth in the development of learning technologies, there has been relatively little support in terms of professional development for engineers designing, building, and deploying new learning technologies.” ICICLE: A Consortium for Learning EngineeringEDUCAUSE Review

“The “learning engineer” job title has started cropping up at several institutions, spurred in part by leadership from Carnegie Mellon University, which has a one-year master’s program in learning engineering and has hired five of its own.” Learning Engineers Inch Toward the SpotlightInside Higher Ed

“According to Ken Koedinger, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University and chair of ICICLE’s SIG on the Learning Engineering Academic Curriculum: ‘In ten years, learning engineering will be a core job in educational technology companies, K-12 schools, colleges and universities.’” Learning Engineering: Merging Science and Data to Design Powerful Learning ExperiencesGettingSmart


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Join Us

IEEE ICICLE activities are led by participating entities and participation in ICICLE activities is open to all. You are encouraged to contact us regarding organizational membership and opportunities for individuals. Our program is growing and there is much room for meaningful involvement.

As innovative teachers, schools, and training departments deploy an ever-expanding array of new products and explore new ways of teaching and learning, the body of knowledge about how to use these technologies and how to design the increasingly complex information systems that result is the basis for a new engineering discipline.
— Avron Barr, Chair of the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee