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This Episode will air on Saturday May 6th at 8 pm EDT

Applying Human-Centered Engineering Methods to Learning with Jim Goodell, Janet Kolodner, and Sae Schatz

“Learning engineering is a process and a practice that applies the learning sciences, using human-centered engineering design methodologies and data-informed decision-making, to support learners and their development.”

In this episode of Silver Lining for Learning, Drs. Janet Kolodner and Sae Schatz, and Jim Goodell discuss the application of learning engineering. As a relatively nascent field, learning engineering extends principles of learning science and combines those approaches with human-centered design, technology, data, and organizational dynamics to scale-up learning to the speed and scope that today’s world demands.

A core tenet of learning engineering is the multidisciplinary integration of various tools, and today’s guests reflect that diversity. They have experience from industry, academia, and government as well as different backgrounds in science, technology, and enterprise strategies. They’ll introduce learning engineering from these various lenses and then offer practical take-aways for viewers interested in studying learning engineering or applying it to their own work.

More about our guests and links to resources below the video


Readings and Resources 

Episode Guests

Jim Goodell is co-editor and co-author of Learning Engineering Toolkit. He is Director of Innovation at Quality Information Partners, where he helps lead development of the US Department of Education sponsored Common Education Data Standards. He is Chair of the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee, chairs the IEEE Industry Consortium on Learning Engineering Competencies, Curriculum, and Credentials SIG, the IEEE Competency Data Standards Workgroup, the Adaptive Instructional Systems Interoperability Workgroup, and serves on the ICICLE Steering Committee. He supports the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s T3 Innovation Network and co-led development of the Learning and Employment Record (LER) Wrapper Specification. Prior to QIP, he was Executive Vice President at the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology where he led the development of interactive learning technologies and provided information-driven process improvement solutions to state education agencies and school districts throughout the United States.


Janet Kolodner is a  Regents’ Professor Emerita of Computing and Cognitive Science at  Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing and Professor of the Practice at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Her research has addressed a wide variety of issues in learning, memory, and problem solving, both in computers and in people. She pioneered the machine learning method called case-based reasoning, which allows a computer to learn from its experiences, and she used its underlying model to design a project-based approach to education called Learning by Design. She is lead author of a comprehensive middle-school science curriculum, Project-Based Inquiry Science, and is a collaborator on other curriculum design projects. Kolodner was Founding Director of Georgia Tech’s EduTech Institute, and she coordinated Georgia Tech’s Cognitive Science program for many years. She is founding Editor-in-Chief and Editor-in-Chief Emerita of The Journal of the Learning Sciences. She is a co-founder of the International Society for the Learning Sciences and served as its first Executive Officer. Kolodner was a program officer at the US National Science Foundation and led efforts to establish and sustain the Cyberlearning Program (now called SETTL). Currently, she is co-director of Boston College’s MA program in Learning Engineering, and she led its design and development. She is a co-author and co-editor of Learning Engineering Toolkit.


Dr. Sae Schatz works at the intersection of learning, technology, and data. She recently founded The Knowledge Forge LLC, a boutique consulting company. From 2015 to 2022, Sae served as the director of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, a U.S. Department of Defense program for research, development, and policy stewardship. Under her leadership, the U.S. ADL Initiative sparked the community’s pursuit of the “future learning ecosystem,” in part with her popular book Modernizing Learning: Building the Future Learning Ecosystem.

Before joining the civil service, Sae worked as an applied human–systems scientist in both business and academia. From 2011 to 2014, she was the chief scientist at MESH Solutions (a defense contractor), where she led the U.S. Marine Corps’ Making Good Instructors Great project and the U.S. Joint Staff’s award-winning Blended Learning–Training effort. Prior to that, she held an assistant professorship with the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Institute for Simulation and Training, and she was an instructor in the UCF Digital Media Department. Sae is a prolific writer and professional presenter as well as a graphic designer who often uses those skills to enhance books, presentations, and infographics. She holds a doctorate in Modeling and Simulation (M&S), with an emphasis on human systems.