ASME is rethinking and redesigning engineering education for 2020 and beyond.

Creating Learning & Development Solutions for 21st Century Engineers

Dec 13, 2019

by Arin Ceglia

For both companies and individuals, an investment in any type of technology is not done for its own sake. The idea is to seek a positive end result.
 
At ASME, we invest in the latest educational technology for our learning and development offerings. We do this not just to say we have all the latest bells and whistles in our arsenal, but to create a user-friendly, seamless experience that enables learners, employers, subject matter experts, and instructors to constantly track progress and improve. This creates an ever-evolving experience that revolves around the three principles of scalability, accessibility, and learner-centricity.
 
The latest in engineering knowledge
 
Thanks to a knowledge base that stretches back more than 135 years, ASME has been at the forefront of curating industry knowledge and providing engineers with reliable technical and professional information. Many courses in our current portfolio are based on the application of standards. That is not changing.
 
Now, we are adding courses that contribute to this knowledge base with a focus on new and advancing engineering technology, including additive manufacturing and industrial automation. These courses fulfill a need to deliver this information faster, smarter, and in a more convenient way.
 
The goal is to create an experience that delivers the micro-level learning engineers need, when they need it, while also offering the macro-level credentials to learners when required. Engineers already know about the quality and depth of knowledge ASME offers. Now we’re improving the ways we communicate and track that knowledge, offering the best options to engineers who need to stay up to date.
 
Discover, learn, and grow
 
There are three steps to the learning and development process. The first is discovery, where engineers and companies find and identify the learning experiences they want. This starts by identifying the desired outcomes. What skills gaps exist in the learner’s competency map? What challenges are they facing on the job? Thanks to ASME’s wide variety of curricula, we can help answer these questions and offer a path forward. Most important, discovery helps us provide knowledge that can be applied on the job site.
 
Then, using strategic educational technology, we provide this learning efficiently and conveniently, in ways that amplify the process and ease use for the learner. Right now, our eLearning options place much of the responsibility on the learner, putting the keys in their hands to go through the material in the way that suits them and matches the needs identified during discovery.
 
Additionally, our approach to learning focuses on preparing engineers for the job, and not just retaining information found in the reading or course materials. A learner should be able to take information from courses and not just memorize it, but know how it applies in certain on-the-job situations. Our assessments ask questions focused around this application of knowledge—for example, if an engineer performs one action, what should they do next? The answer is not about multiple choice, yes or no, true or false. Rather, we provide engineers with the background to answer correctly based on their context and eventually make the right call when faced with similar decisions on the job.
 
The third stage of learning at ASME revolves around a simple question: What’s next? Learners and their employers have access to a map of competencies based on results. These are not just test results, but breakdowns of the categories where users had the most success, as well as where they might be facing challenges or gaps. This means learners have a clear path to grow their engineering knowledge, and ASME becomes not just a one-stop shop, but a trusted resource committed to their lifelong learning.
 
When managers have access to these results, it becomes clear where to target future investment at both the team and individual level. For example, is there a specific type of additive manufacturing competency that an engineer has struggled with in their learning? If so, ASME, the learner and any other stakeholders have a clear path forward. They’ll be able to track any progress as learners move forward through targeted courses. The return on investment for each learner or team becomes visible.
 
What’s next at ASME?
 
Much like the engineers who are constantly seeking ways to advance their knowledge, ASME is looking at ways to push our learning & development offerings into new and exciting territory. We are already offering learning sequences based on current markets and the skills engineers need. In the future, we aim to evolve a robust digital learning environment that guides learners as they develop, anticipating their needs and recommending future coursework based on past results.
 
This will also include a new emphasis on blended learning, combining ASME’s unparalleled knowledge base with various types of courses, from self-paced to instructor-led, from quickly accessible micro-level learning to more comprehensive curricula. Courses may include a blend of multimedia reading assignments, video, infographics, AR/VR, various types of assessments to track progress, and even AI capabilities. These experiences take the best, most effective aspects of each of these modalities and allow learners to remain engaged every step of the way.
 
Using these educational technologies, ASME is creating the most seamless learning and development experiences for engineers. Learners and their companies are able to track progress and come away with metrics to drive future education investment, ultimately changing business outcomes and productivity for the better. To learn more, visit asme.org/learning-development.
 

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