Case Studies & News

A big opportunity

Could we stop pretending that kids will be harmed by having to learn from home during the virus and school shutdowns? This is actually a big opportunity if we relax our rigidity about education. All a teacher has to do is suggest that a kid produce something (anything) and help them when needed.

We need to stop demanding that kids learn what some government, or university committee, or ETS, or OECD, has decided that they must learn and let them learn what they want to learn. Teachers need to stop "teaching" and start helping kids achieve what they actually want to achieve. Teachers can encourage kids who want to learn the same thing to work together in teams. Imagine if school allowed you to learn what you'd always wanted to learn. How many would decide to learn the quadratic formula, or how to balance a chemical equation, or memorize a physics formula? Who would decide that they needed to read Silas Marner? Letting kids decide what to read and what to learn how to do happens all the time outside of school. Teachers need to stop being the ultimate authority and instead learn to mentor just in time (online) and stop testing.

Instead of online learning becoming a disaster, the virus could become the savior of education. Let's make this school shut down into a good thing.

- Dr. Roger Schank

The University of Texas starts online training program to help fill cybersecurity jobs

Socratic Arts' Cyber Security program will be offered through the University of Texas Austin's Extended Campus. KXAN in Austin ran a news story on the program, which can be seen on their website.

Hear from a recent graduate of our Cyber Academy.

Universidad Cenfotec will give an international program on cybersecurity

• The only University in Costa Rica offering this program

San José, monday, april 29, 2019. As of August 2018, Cenfotec University becomes the only study center in Costa Rica to teach the Socratic Arts Cybersecurity Programs which train new workers to address the tremendous shortage of skilled professionals in the cy-bersecurity industry.

The American company Socratic Arts developed the curriculum in conjunction with the United States Department of Defense as well as industry experts.

The courses are entirely project based. Students receive simulated video calls or emails notifying them of threats that must be addressed such as a ransomware attack on a hospital. As students complete their tasks, they can consult extensive learning resources, and experienced mentors are always available to provide help, advice, and feedback on their work.

"We are very happy with this program because we know it will help Costa Rica to meet the need to address critical cybersecurity problems that arise every day. Our systems must be 100% safe, and it is the specialists in this area who can achieve it." commented René-Pierre Bondu of Cenfotec University.

Currently, the University of Texas Extended Campus of the University of Texas at Austin and the Rutgers University in New Jersey also offer the programs.

CENFOTEC University, the only University specializing in Digital Technologies in Costa Ri-ca, is a private higher education institution whose main purpose is the curricular design and delivery of programs for the training and updating of professionals, as well as con-ducting research in the field of information and communication technologies.

We're Going Mobile (Ok, but how?)

Our Senior VP of Design, Dr. Tammy Berman, and Holly Christensen, COO and Senior Designer, recently presented We're Going Mobile (Ok, but how?) at the eLearning Guild's devLearn 2018 conference. The presentation discussed learning design and development considerations and tradeoffs that need to be made when developing learning programs for a mobile device, from the technical, user experience, and most of all, pedagogical standpoint.

The lessons we shared were based on one of our recent engagements with a F500 client, who sought a course to teach advanced client communications skills for executives. The client wished to use our award winning Observe & Critique instructional approach and technology which we developed for Delivering Serious News, a program that was designed for desktop and which had been very well received by doctors and other medical professionals.

When we tested the course design on mobile device, while it may have been technically mobile-friendly, the content and required interactions would have resulted in a bad user experience. We went back to the drawing board and used a mobile-first design approach, testing and iterating until we had a course design and end-product that works well on mobile devices and is appealing to users.

Developing learning solutions for mobile is a complex endeavor. We've developed a performance support tool to help other learning designers work with clients to explore the relevant considerations and tradeoffs. You can access it here:

Going Mobile

If your company needs help with Going Mobile or is interested in other ways to make your learning more effective; whether it's mobile, desktop, hybrid, or in person; our experienced team of instructional designers are delighted to help.

Dr. Roger Schank, CEO of Socratic Arts, on CNN

Cyber Security Training for Spokane

August 2018 - Students in Spokane Washington have just completed a learn-by-doing course in cybersecurity, developed and delivered by Socratic Arts. During the six-week intensive course, Cyber Defender 1: Network Traffic and Log Analysis, they learned and practiced the skills required of security operations center analysts, including analysis of network traffic and of system and network logs. The course is a Story-Centered Curriculum in which the students' work is set in the context of a sophisticated cyber attack on a defense contractor.

Eleven students began the course, and nine successfully completed it. The students were a mix of working IT professionals from the City of Spokane and Avista Utilities, as well as advanced students from Spokane Falls Community College, all of whom seek to transition into cybersecurity jobs.

Students reported being sorry when the course ended. In a few weeks, they will go on to a second course, Cyber Defender 2: Digital Forensics and Incident Response, in which they will learn and practice the skills of malware analysis, memory and disk forensics, and incident response.

Socratic Arts experts mentored students as they analyzed the attack. Here's what participants had to say:

"I haven't seen anything out there that excites me like this does."
- Brady Nielsen -
- Cybersecurity instructor, Spokane Falls Community College -

"I like how the class was created around an investigation of cyber security crime. It was cool to learn as if I was solving a real cyber crime."

Individuals interested in learning cyber security can enroll through The Schank Academy.

Organizations that would like to improve their people's cyber security skills can Contact Us to discuss the opportunities our effective, learn-by-doing programs provide.

Contact Us

Building Online Courses the Right Way

Mike Caulfield reviewed the Trump University courses we made available. Here's part of what he had to say:

"So here's what I want to tell you about the online portion of Trump University [designed around 2005 when Roger Schank was CLO]: It probably puts your university's online courses to shame. It certainly makes a mockery of what Silicon Valley darlings Coursera and Udacity call courses...

It is difficult to see the design of the Trump University online experience as anything but exemplary. In fact, if you encountered something this well designed and thought out in traditional online classes you would be stunned."

Our modern courses delivered via our award winning innovative technology solutions are even further ahead of their time. Contact Us to discuss how our decades of experience can help your organization.

Read the full article.

Socratic Arts partners with Rutgers University to launch a Cyber Security Certificate program

Socratic Arts, Inc. is pleased to announce our newest partnership to offer a Cyber Security Certificate Program through The Center for Innovation Education at Rutgers University (RIE).

Socratic Arts initially developed the curriculum for this intensive online course for the Department of Defense to train government personnel. Public access to this course began recently through Socratic Arts' sister company, Schank Academy, and is now offered in conjunction with RIE. The next cohort of students through RIE begins November 27th, 2017.

Using our proven Story-Centered Curricula methodology, and a "learn-by-doing" approach, this challenging program is a comprehensive 24-week learning experience, and demands a weekly commitment of 30 hours a week from its students. Throughout the course students are immersed into a professional role within the context of a story, and perform authentic tasks to produce professional-level work. Industry professionals will guide students as mentors while they focus on developing foundational technical skills. Beyond technical skills, the program will also emphasize training students to understand and decipher the psychological, sociological, and ethnographic characteristics of their adversaries.

Graduates of the Cyber Security Certificate program will gain practical, job-ready skills and workplace transferable knowledge. Upon course completion, students will leave with a professional Cyber Operations and Information Security Portfolio exhibiting the offensive and defensive skills they have used to mitigate real-world security threats.

For more information on the Cyber Security Certificate Program offered through REI, visit this Rutgers' program page.

For more information on curriculum and a course demo, please visit Schank Academy.

Announcing Schank Academy logo

Socratic Arts CEO, Roger Schank, Ph.D., announces the launch of his new organization, Schank Academy. Built in an effort to offset the rising costs of tuition and the increasing skills gap, Schank Academy supplies students with the opportunity to gain applicable career skills to adequately compete in the modern workplace.

Schank Academy programs are built upon 25 years of learning design experience using proven Story-Centered Curricula methodology, and a "learn-by-doing" approach to every course. Each course centers on an engaging story, that are closely analogous to situations students would experience in their real-world work setting. The program supplies students, often working in small groups, with intricate simulations including detailed information about their employer, authentic on-the-job projects, and supporting materials and resources. Throughout the course, expert mentors are available to answer questions and guide students through these intricate hands-on projects.

Available programs include Data Analytics & Big Data, Cybersecurity, and Software Development. Schank Academy will roll out a more comprehensive course offering in upcoming months. For more information please contact Schank Academy.

Learners Play the Leading Role in an Innovative Turn-Taking Simulation that Teaches Key Coaching Skills to Managers at a Fortune 100 Company.

When a global management consulting firm introduced an important new coaching paradigm for managers, they turned to Socratic Arts to create a cutting-edge learn-by-doing online course that puts learners in the virtual driver's seat. The course uses the innovative and award-winning Observe & Critique™ technology for managers to examine and critique fictional video scenarios with realistic coaching opportunities. Socratic Arts also unleashes the ground-breaking turn-taking technology, which takes the simulation a step further: Participants play the coach in 1-1 dialogues, steering the conversations every step of the way. Just like in real-life, success doesn't happen in a moment, but rather from the many choices and balance of considerations individuals make over time. Ongoing feedback from field experts, nonfictional interviews and scene-specific learning resources help learners understand and apply curricular aspects where they are relevant and helpful. Learners also create active coaching plans, connecting the innovative pedagogy to their own performance goals.

Socratic Arts Awarded DoD Contract to Train Cyber Attackers and Defenders

Socratic Arts is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract from the US Department of Defense to improve DoD's capability and capacity to train cyber operators.

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Socratic Arts Wins Gold in the 2015 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards in Technology

Brandon Hall Group Gold Award 2015
Brandon Hall Group Gold Award 2015

Socratic Arts, a leader in performance improvement solutions, won a coveted Brandon Hall Group Gold Award for Excellence in the Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology category for its innovative take on Observe & Critique™. Socratic Arts partnered with VitalTalk to create Delivering Serious News, a course that helps medical clinicians improve their communications of serious news and related issues. Socratic Arts' Observe & Critique was one component of the course.

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Socratic Arts and Gingrich Productions Collaborate to Help Newly Elected State Legislators Hit the Ground Running

Newt Gingrich has a mission: help newly elected state legislators get more effective, more quickly. Socratic Arts was delighted to help make it happen. The result: The Effective Elected, a flexible workshop that can be delivered in person or online, with a facilitator-led group (led by a seasoned legislator), or it can be done independently.

The Effective Elected homepage

Participants develop detailed plans for their first term and beyond, aided by video-based advice from seasoned notables, such as Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, Iowa State Representative and House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, Texas State Representative Phil King, Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir, and other highly experienced political advisors.

Legislators are guided through a step-wise process for:

Socratic Arts' Dynamic Scene Adapter Enhances the Simulation Experience for A Fortune 500 Company - Making It Fun, Realistic, and Memorable!

Socratic Arts is delighted and proud of the successful delivery of a new program for a Fortune 500 company. The program aimed to help participants develop strong leadership and communication skills through a four day, in-person learning experience that included workshops, electives, and a simulation using the Dynamic Scene Adapter (DSA).

The Dynamic Scene Adapter (DSA) is a simulation engine that supports in-person and/or virtual, simulation-based training programs. It provides a customized experience for learners in which their decisions and actions are evaluated against a set of metrics (e.g., team morale, client satisfaction, etc.), which are aligned with the performance objectives of the learning program. Depending on their metrics, learners may move on to new challenges, or they may be presented additional complications related to their prior decisions and actions. Unlike branching simulations, which face the development problem of an exponential expansion of branches, this system works on the principle of best partial matches of metrics to resulting states. Using this approach, the simulation only presents consequences that are pedagogically interesting relative to the performance objectives of the course.

Dynamic Scene Adapter Dashboard highlights current tasks and resources

What pilot participants said

Compared to Other Learning Programs, Participants said:

Learn more about our Dynamic Scene Adapter.

Socratic Arts rolls out a new type of online technology to teach communications to medical clinicians with great success!

Socratic Arts is delighted and proud of the successful pilot release of the online learning program, Delivering Serious News, developed for VitalTalk, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help nurture healthier connections between patients and medical clinicians. This program aims to help clinicians improve their communications of serious news and related issues.

Delivering Serious News features a slick new interface and high-quality, authentic video scenes of clinician-patient interactions. Participants play the role of communications coaches in a medical facility. They review video of their fictional peers' patient interactions, first using the new "Test Your Intuitions" tool to consider how they might handle the same situation, then using the new "Observe & Critique" tool to provide their fictional colleagues feedback and advice pertaining to highly nuanced moments from the video scenes.

We give a huge shout out and thank you to the talented and brilliant VitalTalk experts, Anthony Back, M.D., Robert Arnold, M.D., Kelly Edwards, Ph.D., and James Tulsky, M.D., for allowing us the privilege to work with them, and for all their input and guidance throughout the project.

The Effective Elected homepage

What pilot participants said:

Compared to other eLearning, participants said:

View the demo

Introducing the Goal-Based Scenario Authoring Tool (GBS Tool)

Socratic Arts is pleased to announce the launch of our GBS Tool, which allows universities, companies, and organizations to develop courses that, unlike other online courses, offer students an immersive, meaningful experience that gives them job-ready skills.

Learn more about the GBS Tool

Story-Centered Curriculum for Carnegie Mellon University

When Carnegie Mellon University established a Silicon Valley Campus in 2002 it wanted a cutting edge curriculum that would enable students to acquire and practice the essential skills and knowledge that they would use upon graduation in the real world. They turned to Socratic Arts to design and develop six Master's degree programs using the Story-Centered Curriculum approach. Each program consists entirely of projects—students work in teams, one project at a time, mentored by experts.

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Consultants at F100 Financial Services Firm Develop Risk Management Skills by Conducting an Autopsy

How do you teach senior consulting executives at F100 Financial Services firm to become more sensitive to risks that can arise at various stages of an engagement, to mitigate such risks, and to manage consequences that may arise from their decisions? This was the question that we answered with one of our most innovative classroom design programs.

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Hybrid Learning On the Job: A Software Company Trains First-tier Managers

A large software company had promoted many first-tier managers from the technical ranks. The new managers had little management experience and lacked a clear idea of how to add value as a manager. Most importantly, the managers were failing to align their goals, priorities, and operating plans with corporate strategy.

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