A significant amount of training and education has been developed by the US government for both internal and external efforts. Internally, training can range from compliance-focused efforts, such as cyber security or diversity training, to upskilling and shift responsibility for job requirements, contract regulations and assignments or promotions, such as senior executive service (SES) leadership training. . In addition, the Departments of Education and Defense also create education and training curricula, pathways and future learning concepts that have far-reaching effects on learning across America. In fact, the Department of Defense (DoD) Education Activity (DoDEA) is the nation’s largest K-12 education system.
With all the learning content and process creation happening in and within government, it is essential to constantly keep up to date with the latest developments in educational programming, designing and delivery.
Enter Learning Engineering
Learning Engineering (LE) is the next generation of educational design that recognizes a multitude of delivery mechanisms—live, mobile, virtual reality, and more—including a deep understanding of how the brain works, and capitalizing on the research and knowledge of many disciplines is included. , like engineering, psychology, data science and neuroscience, to design the most efficient and effective learning pathways, programs and materials. It is the next level of instructional system design in that it approaches learning from a multidisciplinary perspective and is structured holistically rather than linearly.
By incorporating all aspects of learning design, learning plans are more efficient and learner-centred, thereby increasing impact. For learning and development (L&D) professionals, there are six key steps in the LE process:
1. Capacity Assessment, This involves identifying the key competencies to be acquired and is usually accomplished through interviews with subject matter experts and a review of current curriculum. The goal is to define what a learner will be able to do once the learning process is complete.
2. Competency Modeling, In this step, you develop a five-step model that describes what a learner’s behavior or skill will look like from the point they start the process to the point they are an expert. Defining each step at the behavioral level helps focus the instruction and experience needed to move an individual up the developmental ladder.
3. Review of Instructional Technology and Resources, The third step in the LE process involves determining which instructional elements or technologies are already available. In all companies, and especially in government, there are so many solutions built in silos that now these elements can be combined for learner pathways without having to build them from scratch. Without this step, the Good Idea Angel will, once again, create another framework, policy, product and process that are costly and fail to build on the lessons learned from previous projects. Therefore the use of existing technology and content material is encouraged.
4. Outline design. This phase involves organizing all existing instructional elements or those gathered during the interview phase to align with the developmental model. Once this is accomplished, differences in materials and technologies can be easily identified.
5. Recommendations. In step five, the recommendations are clarified and provided to the development team.
6. Assessment and Personalization. Once all learning elements, technologies, materials and experiences are in place, personalized pathways can be created that illustrate their progress through developmental stages from competent to expert levels.
For government audiences, these processes are already being built into policy, lending support to their incorporation into education and training practices. More importantly, this holistic approach to learning development results in more effective learning outcomes at less cost – always a win for the public sector.
For more information on LE see Modernizing Learning: Building the Future Learning EcosystemA free government publication.