A Transformation to Learning Engineering

Learning Engineering is about finding out how learning works, applying technology to implement and enhance good solutions, using evidence to make progress and changing learning practices at scale. It is necessary to enable companies getting good at refreshing their skill pool in 2-year cycles, whereas today 5-8 year cycles are the norm in many industries.

During a 1-hour presentation at EPFL followed by a one-on-one discussion with Bror Saxberg, Chief Learning Officer at Kaplan and Prof. Pierre Dillenbourg, I learned about how KAPLAN is using learning engineering to improve the effectiveness of learning systematically. He refers to this as a learning engineering process:

learning engineering process

It starts by analysing how top performers in a work environment are doing their job and deliver high performance (cognitive task analysis). It forms the basis for evidence-based learning modules, or in other words: training content that pragmatically helps you to do a better job. To validate the impact of trainings, measurable learning result is evaluated. This can be either be business key performance indicators (such as turnover, margin, customer satisfaction) or evaluation by peers or line managers on the actual job done. The assessment of business impact then leads to identifying the next performance bottleneck and restart the process. This is combined with agile learning innovation development for rapid testing & scaling.


Bror Saxberg is Chief Learning Officer for Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and a leading global provider of educational services offering post-secondary education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training, university preparation, and K12 offerings to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Saxberg is responsible for the research and development of innovative learning strategies, technologies, and products across Kaplan’s full range of educational services offerings. He also oversees future developments and adoptions of innovative learning technologies and maintains consistent academic standards for Kaplan’s products and courses.

On July 1st, Bror will join the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.