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.

ICICLE Update: June 2018

ICICLE participants,

Join us for our monthly community call June 21st at 11am EDT. We'll be meeting as usual via https://join.me/IEEE-ICICLE and the call is scheduled for one hour's length.

An agenda will be posted here.

It's been a very busy month for ICICLE and we have some exciting news to share.

  • Dorothy Gordon has joined our Advisory Board. She is Council Member at FOSS for Africa and is Former Director General of the Advanced Information Technology Institute at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence

  • Several new organizations have joined ICICLE including the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the Virginia Serious Games Institute at George Mason University.

  • EDUCAUSE Review published an article about ICICLE last month and we currently have articles in the queue in several other places.

  • We have secured the venue in Arlington, Virginia and are in the process of securing the accommodations for the May 2019 ICICLE Conference. Website registration will open around July 5th.

  • Several of our members are presenting work on Learning Engineering and representing ICICLE at conferences around the world including next week at the London Festival of Learning. We'll provide all the deets on tomorrow's call.

  • ADL's iFEST conference takes place this August. They have graciously offered a discount to all LTSC and ICICLE members. ICICLE will be holding a face-to-face community meeting immediately before the conference on Monday, August 27, at 8:30am. Please see the ICICLE website for further information. 

The Conference Committee has been doing a ton of work and now things are starting to get real on the logistics for the conference. Our Treasurer, Olivia Blackmon, and I are starting the work of fundraising for the conference. If you represent an entity who may be interested in supporting the conference, please contact me directly at shelly@yetanalytics.com and let's discuss. A full prospectus for supporters including a breakdown of tiers of support will be available when the registration site launches on or near July 5th.

Looking forward to our conversation,

Shelly Blake-Plock, Chair

ICICLE Update: April 2018

ICICLE participants,

At a recent IEEE-SA Standards Board Meeting in Tokyo earlier in March, Steering Committee member, Robby Robson, reported that ICICLE was prominently featured. The website was pointed out as a model for Industry Connections activities and the Board shared that they’d never before seen anything quite like ICICLE.  

Getting noticed by the Standards Board is due to a huge amount of work on everyone's part.  

We’re only getting through April and a tremendous amount of effort has already been put into ICICLE — from the SIGs brainstorming and preparing ideas, white papers, and curricula to the work of the committees preparing for the conference. It's incredible the commitment and time people have given to ICICLE. We love and appreciate your enthusiasm and passion!

Thank you.


Monthly Community Call

Our last two monthly calls in February and March had great turn-outs. We had several excellent exchanges during the meeting. Committees and SIG provided updates, ideas and questions were discussed about the conference, and we agreed to collaborate together on the creation of a definition responding to the question: “What is a learning engineer?”

Our next Community Call is scheduled for April 19th at 11am Eastern. To join the call, go to: https://www.join.me/IEEE-ICICLE


Definition of a Learning Engineer

We agreed that the defining of the term should be a collaborative process. We have set up two ways to share thoughts. Add your ideas on our Google Doc or write them on a "post-it" on ICICLE’s Boardthing. With Boardthing, we can group ideas together, see what connects and intersects.


SIGs Updates

In short: the SIGs have been doing a whole lot. Read an update on the ICICLE website of what each of the SIGs has been up to, and for information about each SIG check out the SIG page.

If you are interested in joining any of the groups, just reach out to the SIG chairs to express your interest in participating. They’ll be working on projects to be presented at the International Conference on Learning Engineering. If you’d like to contribute, it is a great opportunity.


Member Communication / Meeting Schedule

As promised, we’ve set up a member communication page on the with links to the ICICLE Google Drive and Slack. Each SIG has a folder in Google Drive and a channel in Slack for cross collaboration and sharing.  

BTW… if you are attending a conference, let others know on #chances-to-meet channel on Slack.  

Promotional Materials / FAQs

At the March meeting, we discussed the need for more materials to help people understand what we’re working on. In response, we now have a FAQ page on the website. We are also working on promotional materials that can you can share at conferences and with others. Feel free to download pdfs to share from https://www.ieeeicicle.org/media-kit/.

Of particular interest may be the information for prospective conference attendees. You’ll find a link in the Media Kit, but here’s a quick view of one of the questions we most often are asked… namely: who should attend the conference?

Who should attend?

Learning Engineers: Software and product developers; educational publishers;
systems integrators; and individuals who design, develop, and deploy learning
technology in schools, colleges and universities, corporations, and government. A major goal of this conference is the exchange of ideas and best
practices among working learning engineers.

Training Professionals: L&D professionals, trainers,  and educators at all levels who are responsible for introducing learning technology and for initiating competency-based training, mastery-based education, automated certificate programs, and other innovations. This is an opportunity to see the range of successful applications and the kinds of problems that need to be solved.

Educators and Learning Scientists: Professional educators and researchers in the field of learning science who develop new learning paradigms and who implement new technologies within the context of learning. This includes faculty and administrators responsible for academic programs related to Learning Engineering.  A major goal is cross-fertilization between researchers and practitioners and the exchange of information among established and nascent academic programs and curricula related to Learning Engineering.

Conference Committee

Topics about the conference at the monthly meetings included title, dates, place, audience, and format. The committee welcomes any suggestions.

We also have been connecting with several conferences leading up to ours and finding opportunities to submit proposals for workshops and presentations. We want to use these events to start conversations and get feedback from the community as well as publicize our conference.

The committee requests that each SIG has a representative on it. SIG chairs — if you have not done so already, please nominate one of your members to be your SIG’s conference committee rep.


Technical Committee

The technical committee has been working IEEE on repos. Repos will be set up on GitLab.  Information will be sent to the SIGs on how to sign up shortly.


Call for TALE Conference Submission

At the IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE) in Australia in December, Edilson Arenas, Leon Lei and Mark Lee, members of ICICLE Curriculum SIG, are organizing an ICICLE related Special Track entitled “Engineering of Technologies for Learning: An Emerging Discipline.”

If you are not familiar with TALE, it is the IEEE Education Society’s flagship Asia-Pacific conference series. Mark is one of the two General Chairs of TALE 2018 Conference.

The Track is soon soliciting papers and presentations and would also like to offer panel and roundtable-type sessions centered around the work of the ICICLE Curriculum SIG. In addition to providing international exposure for ICICLE in general, these sessions will also serve as an opportunity to solicit community feedback on the specific outputs of the Curriculum SIG.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark J.W. Lee.


News Tips and Q&A Series

Have news you’d like to share with the community? Interested in taking part in the monthly Q&A series?

Contact Jodi Lis, our Outreach Chair.


Next up...

Our next meeting is Thursday, April 19th at 11am Eastern.

This meeting will be key because SIG chairs will be sharing what each SIG is planning to present at the conference.

To join the call, go to: https://www.join.me/IEEE-ICICLE.

You can find this and all ICICLE events here: https://www.ieeeicicle.org/events/.


Thanks to all of you for your contributions to ICICLE!

As always, if you have any questions or ideas for things you’d like to see in ICICLE, please reach out directly. I’m always happy to chat.


Shelly Blake-Plock


March 2018 SIG Update

March 2018 SIG Update

The SIGs have been actively forming and meeting. Here's what they reported at the monthly meeting in February and have since been working on. If you are interested in any of them, check out their page on the site, contact the chairs or attend a meeting.

AI and Adaptive Technologies

The chair of AI and Adaptive Technologies SIG, Michelle Derbenwick Barrett, reported that the SIG has met a few times and set up standard working sessions. They have developed a charter and are working through the development of topics and proposals for the conference. They are interested in implementing AI and adaptive technologies within learning systems and creating bridges among engineers, researchers, and practitioners developing, using, and evaluating the effectiveness of artificial intelligence and adaptive technologies in support of formal and informal lifelong learning.

This SIG meets every first Wednesday of each month at 10:00 ET.
The next meeting is on Wednesday, April 4th.
Competency Frameworks and Certification

The chair of the Competency Frameworks and Certification SIG,  Michael Jay, reported they have a meeting scheduled and although they have good representation, they would welcome government representation. The SIG is focusing on identifying existing competency-related technologies and standards relevant to the sorts of environments and tools with which Learning Engineers work. At the monthly meeting, a question was raised about the focus of the SIG: “Is the SIG to focus on defining a competency framework for  learning engineering or tools that support to competencies within learning engineering?” It was agreed at the meeting that we should demonstrate what we mean by competencies of the learning engineers themselves.  

This SIG will be collaborating with the Learning Engineering Academic Curriculum SIG and Learning Engineering as a Profession SIG to exchange needs and findings as related to the preparation and recognition of Learning Engineers. For now, the SIGs are separate, although in time they might find that they need to be reconfigured. It was agreed that SIGs themselves will decide how best approach the topics of preparing learning engineers as professionals.

Data Governance and Privacy

The chair of the Data Governance and Privacy SIG, TG Seabrooks, reported the SIG members are working to refine three key areas of focus: 1) Learning resource creators; 2) Learning platforms; and 3) Learning ownership (data governance and privacy). They have drafted initial ideas and shared with SIG members. 

As part of beginning the process, they have also recognized two key challenges. First, to get a better understanding of the current trends in data governance and privacy and second, which are the most important. A recommendation was to look at what the Child and Student Data Governance Working Group in LTSC is working on to check if there is overlap.

This SIG meets every other Wednesday at 10:00 ET.
The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 14.

Design for Learning

The chair of the Learning Experience Design SIG, Janet Kolodner, noted she has been researching the topic and reaching out to others that are interested.

Learning Engineering Academic Curiculum

The chair of the Learning Engineering Academic Curriculum SIG, Ken Koedinger, reported that the SIG is  beginning to collect resources and defining a clear work product goal. The SIG is seeking to guide and communicate what a Learning Engineering curriculum should include from an academic perspective. They have representatives industry and university and would welcome government representation.

This SIG meets the second Wednesday of each month at 12:00 ET.
The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 14.
Learning Technology Data Standards

The chair of the Learning Technology Data Standards SIG, Davinia Hernández-Leo, noted that a meeting was scheduled the day after the monthly meeting to refine the definition of the SIG. The SIG is focused on reflecting about the needs for learning technology standards and data standards to support learning engineering. They completed a survey at the end of February to get consensus on path forward.

This SIG meets on the third Friday of every month at noon ET.
The next meeting is on Friday, March 16.

Learning Engineering as a Profession

The chair of Learning Engineering as a Profession, Ellen Wagner, has also been reaching out to different professional groups. Many are seeing themselves reflecting as learning engineers. Some are part of ICICLE and others would good to pull in to plug people all together. Since learning engineering is new idea and will even need a new vocabulary, it will be important to build a framework from the ground up that can take root and grow.

xAPI and Learning Analytics

The chair of the xAPI and Learning Analytics SIG, Jessie Chuang, reported that the SIG has defined outcomes and topics have emerged to work on: Learning analytics; Learning analytics connectors; IMS caliper; Competencies; and Connecting with credentials. Groups are forming for each topic. They will be identifying resources and determining terms and contributions.

This SIG meets every other Thursday at 11:00 ET.
The next meeting is on Thursday, March 22.


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

Sign up to Join an IEEE ICICLE SIG

The IEEE IC Industry Consortium on Learning Engineering (ICICLE) has opened up new special interest groups (SIGs) for public participation.

The SIGs include

  • AI and Adaptive Technologies
  • xAPI and Learning Analytics
  • Competency Frameworks and Certification
  • Learning Technology Data Standards
  • Learning Engineering as a Profession
  • Learning Engineering Academic Curriculum
  • Data Governance and Privacy
  • Learning Experience Design

Each SIG will be led by an expert in the field. SIGs will produce projects and papers to present at the inaugural International Conference on Learning Engineering.

More information as well as a sign up sheet can be found at <https://www.ieeeicicle.org/sigs/>.


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.

For further information, please see <https://www.ieeeicicle.org/about/>.


IEEE ICICLE Participation Survey

ICICLE invites all prospective and current participants to complete a brief survey to signal their interest in joining the consortium's committees and special interest groups (SIGs).

Committees include:

  • Outreach Committee: Responsible for advocating on ICICLE's behalf to industry, academia, and government, as well as managing ICICLE messaging and public relations including press releases, consortium presentations, and public events.
  • Membership Committee: Responsible for the growth and management of ICICLE's entity participants and individual contributors.
  • Conference Committee: Responsible for the production of ICICLE's annual International Conference on Learning Engineering including calls for papers and speakers as well as logistics.
  • Editorial Committee: Responsible for the editing and publication of the Proceedings of the International Conference on Learning Engineering as well as all ICICLE digital content.
  • Technical Committee: Responsible for the maintenance of open source resources and libraries as well as the management of ICICLE innovation testbeds.

Proposed SIGs include:

  • Adaptive and AI-enabled personal assistants for learning
  • xAPI and learning analytics
  • Competency frameworks and the automation of certification and credentials
  • Key needs from a learning technology and data standards perspective
  • Learning data governance and learner privacy
  • How we can support the development of Learning Engineering as a profession from an industry-needs standpoint
  • What a Learning Engineering curriculum should include from the academic perspective

ICICLE activities are open to the public and the consortium encourages broad participation. Please email ICICLE directly with any questions.

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.