Questions You May Have

What is LearningForge?

LearningForge is a consulting firm that helps organizations increase their odds of success in learning/training related projects by bringing in what we know from the science of learning, development, and motivation, and apply these in practical ways at scale.  LearningForge and its founder, Bror Saxberg, has worked with philanthropies, venture capitalists, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

What is learning engineering?

“Learning engineering” is the application of what we know from learning, development, and motivation sciences to help increase the odds of success of training and learning projects, and to create evidence-grounded iterative processes to keep improving these over time.  LearningForge is a learning engineering consultancy.

How do I get started using learning engineering for my specific circumstances? 

As with so much that is practical in life, start with what is simple (and important) for you and your organization to tackle!  If you’re just getting started, find your most important business/organization issue for which better learning is a solution.  That way, making use of targeted learning engineering approaches can show real and early payoff to you and your organization.  From there, you can expand what you apply to new areas, new problems.

There are some initial resources linked here to help you get started. There will eventually be a Learning Engineering Primer on this web site (to come!) that can also help you get started.  There are some simple, general principles about how expertise works, how learning works, how motivation works that are valuable down payments, and then there is a wider world of more specific guidance and research to draw on as you go after specific problems.  (E.g., domain specific depths: although some general principles apply to both, learning to write better is not the same as learning to solve complex math problems.)

I am a teacher - where should I start?

Why Don’t Students Like School, by Daniel Willingham, is an excellent place to start.  He’s a very good cognitive scientist, has written answers to teachers’ questions in the American Federation of Teachers newsletter for many years, and put this together to help answer the most common questions teachers have about learning.  Highly readable - addresses misconceptions and opportunities both.

I am an instructional designer - how do I add to what I already know how to do?

Two great resources to start with: 

The Learning Engineering Toolkit, edited by Jim Goodell is a really nice, multi-disciplinary look at learning engineering, showing how many different components go in when you want to do it well. 

E-Learning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth Clark and Richard Mayer is not just about learning with technology - it’s an excellent guide to evidence-based instructional design more generally, with plenty of links to research.  Richard Mayer is one of the world’s most cited learning scientists, and Ruth Clark is a very experienced evidence-based instructional designer - they’ve been updating this volume every 4-5 years since the first edition (now on its fourth edition).