Learning Engineering Summit at DevLearn

ICICLE is hosting the Learning Engineering Summit at the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn Conference & Expo to introduce the emerging field of learning engineering. Hosts include Ellen Wagner, Avron Barr, Robby Robson, and Megan Bowe, along with The eLearning Guild’s research director, Jane Bozarth.

The Learning Engineering Summit provides an overview to learning engineering, what is happening in ICICLE, what’s driving it and what are the challenges and opportunities.

Avron Barr and Robby Robson discuss What is Learning Engineering at a concurrent session at the conference.

Check out the presentations from the conference.

Learning Engineering and the Future of eLearning

Learning Engineering and the Future of eLearning by Ellen Wagner and Olivia Blockmon discuss how learning engineering can support instructional designers to innovate and implement interactive, interconnected digital teaching and learning systems.

…learning engineering hopes to bring the power and discipline of engineering to bear in the development of better tools for learning and for learners. In contrast to current practice, where development of learning technology is often ad hoc, learning engineering has the potential to help enterprises, agencies, and institutions take more direct control of the development and deployment of instructional technology.

Read more in Learning Solutions.

7 Things to Know about Learning Engineering

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)'s wrote a brief in their 7 Things You Should Know About... series on 7 Things You Should Know About Learning Engineering with contributions by Ellen Wagner, Avron Barr, Shelly Blake-Plock, and Robby Robson.

Sitting at the confluence of learning science, learning technology, and instructional design, learning engineering can be framed as the application of engineering design methodologies in developing learning technologies and infrastructures. Learning engineers have the skills needed to integrate engineering and systems thinking with learning science in support of better learning technologies and, ultimately, improved learning outcomes. Learning engineers provide architectures and techniques that can help us develop new and better tools to apply what we are learning about learning, cognition, and human development.

Read the 7 Things on Learning Engineering on what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning in ELI.

iFest & ICICLE Community Meeting: August 27, 2018

On August 27th, we had our first face to face Community Meeting in the morning and two events in the afternoon at iFest, including a keynote presentation by our Advisory Board member, Bror Saxberg, and a moderated panel discussion.  

Community Meeting

Our community meeting consisted of reports from several SIGs, including AI and Adaptive Technology, Data Governance and Privacy and Learning Engineering as a Profession as well as Conference and Membership Committee updates. Lively discussions centered around topics such as

  • "Same Language but Different Interpretations"  

  • Managing Data, Privacy, Security, and Ethics 

  • "Fake" Learning.  

Read detailed minutes here.


At iFest, Bror's presentation, Learning Engineering: The Art of Applying Learning Science at Scale, starting with how learning actually works and progressed through to using technology to implement and enhance good solutions. At its core the message was about the Learning Engineer taking on scale and applying evidence to make progress. 

The keynote was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Avron Barr, with Bror, Advisory Board member Paul Jesukiewicz, and SIG chairs Michelle Derbenwick Barrett and T.J. Seabrooks. 

In the moderated session, audience raised a variety of questions including:

  • "Is there a roadmap that identifies where we are going with new learning strategies and technologies and if so how big are the gaps?"

  • "How do we break the data ownership silos to provide visibility to learners and learning providers?"

  • "How close are we to an agreed-upon definition of Learning Engineering?" 

Both the keynote and discussion were extremely well-received and created a buzz. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of iFest.

All Rise the Learning Engineer podcast

At the London Festival of Learning, Avron Barr, IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee Sponsorship Chair, and Robby Robson, ICICLE Conference Committee Co-Chair, spoke with Sophie Bailey, founder and presenter of EdTech Podcast, about how ICICLE is supporting the development of the profession of learning engineering.

"When you drive over a bridge you like to know that it was built by a civil engineer who understands how bridges work. When you engage in learning technology, wouldn't be nice to know that it was built by a learning engineer who knows how learning works?" - Robby Robson

Listen to the 'All rise the learning engineer' EdTech Podcast.

Quinnsights: Get Ready for Learning Engineering

When taking an ecosystem approach for learning and development, Clark Quinn describes in Get Ready for Learning Engineering how learning engineering could support the integration of its components in his monthly column, Quinnsights, in Learning Solutions.

Two major advances are changing the nature of eLearning. One is emerging technology that has potential applications to learning. The other is the understanding of how we learn, and what we as L&D professionals should do to instruction to better align. At the intersection is a need to integrate the two to create optimal learning experiences. This has led to a call for learning engineering. While not new, and the principles equally apply to existing technologies like the LMS and traditional learning, the opportunities and the need are increasing. What does learning engineering mean in principle and in practice?

Read more on Get Ready for Learning Engineering.

Learning Engineering: Merging Science and Data to Design Powerful Learning Experiences

There is a new article in GettingSmart featuring the perspectives of several IEEE ICICLE participants on the topic of Learning Engineering... 

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.”

Read more at GettingSmart

IEEE Consortium established to support the development of Learning Engineering

BALTIMORE, MD — The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology, has established a new industry consortium for learning engineering. Charter participating entities include Google, IBM, Autodesk, Boeing, and Cognizant as well as academic institutions, technology startups, and standards development organizations including the MedBiquitous Consortium.

The IEEE Industry Connections Industry Consortium on Learning Engineering (ICICLE) is an open forum and community-driven platform for defining and supporting the profession of Learning Engineering.

ICICLE is part of the IEEE Standards Association’s (IEEE-SA) Industry Connections (IC) program. Participation in ICICLE is widespread and is comprised of leading organizations in industry, academia, and government. The Industry Connections Program helps incubate new standards and related products and services by facilitating collaboration among organizations and individuals as they hone and refine their thinking on rapidly changing technologies.

“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,” said Avron Barr, chair of the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee.

In recent years, the use of technology to support the way people learn in school, on the job, and on their own has accelerated dramatically. These technologies include learning management systems, MOOCS, authoring tools, mobile learning environments, serious games, simulations, applications of virtual and augmented reality, learning record stores, open badges and micro-credentials, pedagogical agents enabled by artificial intelligence, online laboratories, and much more. There is a significant engineering aspect to the development and deployment of these learning technologies that is supported by a portfolio of existing and planned engineering and data standards, but that has yet to coalesce as an identified field of endeavor.

While Learning Science research has generated many of these new technologies, neither the scientific community nor the instructional designers who create new learning activities offer much guidance concerning the capabilities and limitations of the underlying technologies; how to use them to accomplish instructional goals; and how to evaluate the effectiveness of both the technologies and the various pedagogical innovations they allow.

Motivated by the need to provide this guidance, IEEE ICICLE was established by leading organizations across the world.

“This consortium represents the desire of learning technologists across industries to support the development of the burgeoning profession of Learning Engineer,” said Shelly Blake-Plock, Acting Chair of ICICLE.