Socratic Arts mourns the loss of our founder and CEO, Roger Schank, Ph.D.

It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Roger Schank, Ph.D., the visionary founder and CEO of Socratic Arts.

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Want to Make Learning Stick? Flip It!

What's the quickest and cheapest way to make our company's training more effective? Don't teach first and have participants practice second. Flip it and have them problem-solve first before teaching.

The third in our The Science of Learning series.

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Brandon Hall Award

Socratic Arts' Dynamic Scene Adapter™ (DSA) tool has won a 2021 Excellence in Technology Silver award from the Brandon Hall Group in the "Best Advance in ILT Management and Delivery" category.

A client's frustration with existing tools led to the development of the Dynamic Scene Adapter, which is a cloud-based simulation engine in which learners play a role in an immersive and compelling story. The experiential learning scenario unfolds realistically, turn by turn, with immediate coaching and feedback that enables participants to see the impact of their decisions through meaningful metrics. The DSA also enables a differentiated experience for learners, based on their decisions, actions, and performance in the simulation.

Note: Brandon Hall Group operates the largest and longest running awards program in Human Capital Management.

Brandon Hall Group, Excellence in Technology Awards, Silver 2021

The Trouble with Curation

My client frowned, studying the courses she could leverage for a new learning journey.

"It’s getting a little…frustrating – I mean, challenging, to make new courses by curating modules and materials from other courses. They just – they aren’t a perfect fit."

I nodded and agreed. I’d come to the same conclusion.

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The Art of Transfer

The fundamental goal of instruction is to help learners retrieve and apply - or "transfer" - what they learned when it's relevant. In instances like our client's, the transfer process fails for reasons that can be frustratingly difficult to pinpoint.

In this article, the first in our The Science of Learning series, we discuss how some commonly-used training techniques can inadvertently cause problems with transfer and offer research-backed strategies to overcome these obstacles.

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Announcing our new President and COO

We are pleased to announce Holly Christensen Sestak is the new President and Chief Operating Officer of Socratic Arts.

Holly first joined us 15 years ago as a project manager, building learning programs and courses in collaboration with her beloved clients. Her clients have included Fortune 100 global companies, premier consulting firms, the International Organization for Standardization, universities, and other organizations and schools around the world, where she's solved complex business challenges using human-centered design, leading to the creation of award-winning, learn-by-doing programs.

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Leadership and Team Conflict Transformation

Socratic Arts, in partnership with Dr. Tish Robinson, renowned conflict transformation and professor at Hitotsubashi University of Business in Tokyo, Japan, are pleased to announce the availability of Leadership and Team Conflict Transformation. The online program is a self-paced course for managers who want to learn how to facilitate conversations between team members who are in conflict in a way that calms emotions, teases out underlying issues, and empowers them to find a mutually agreeable and sustainable solution.

While the skills and techniques taught are designed for workplace environments, they are equally useful at home, school, or anywhere else people end up in conflict. Which is, well, everywhere.

Group and Corporate rates, as well as live coaching sessions, are also availble.

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Professional Prep Academy

Work-based learning is the cornerstone of a quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program; it is too valuable to be lost in the wake of COVID-19. Virtual internships are realistic, mentored, learn-by-doing experiences that can be delivered 100% online or as hybrid experiences. The Professional Prep Academy, developed by Socratic Arts, is a program for high schools that offers a wide range of virtual internships to help students discover a career passion and learn life skills.

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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

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

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.

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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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

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We don't build one-size-fits-all solutions. We partner with you to identify your company's unique needs, issues, context, and culture.

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