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Cognotion supplies cloud-based work training and talent management softw solutions to Fortune 1000 companies governments, with a specialty in impro performance and retention for entry-l low skill and/or high turnover workers Our clients are diverse and include Loews Hotels, Panera Bread, the Minis of Health of Saudi Arabia and the Nati Institutes of Health.

President Jonathan Dariyanani after winning the 1776 Challenge Cup

About Cognotion The Cognotion team has been creating, distributing, and delivering innovative e-learning solutions throughout the world since 2002. Having worked in more than 40 countries and developed over 100 solutions, including some that have been used by more than 5,000,000 learners, Cognotion provides cost-effective, world-class instructional resources designed to inspire learning, engage employees, and deliver clients’ business goals and objectives. In the last two years, Cognotion has begun to focus its creative energy on using learning design to solve business challenges resulting from skill gaps and other performance issues. Cognotion routinely develops technology for distribution by, ownership of, or otherwise in partnership with larger publishers and distributors. 2

Our clients include members of the US federal government (including the State Department, the Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense and related entities), Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Pfizer, Harper Collins, Dreamworks, LLC, Nokia, New York University, George Washington University, the New York City Public School System, the National Institutes of Health, as well as many foundations, local and foreign governments, school systems, and individuals.

Solution Examples

Cognotion’s solutions have been used by

• We developed a game-based Infectious Disease

hundreds of thousands of learners. According to

Course in coordination with the Kingdom of

several third party studies by leading universities,

Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health to prevent the

our solutions were shown to be 2 to 5 times more

spread of Ebola and other diseases during the

effective than in-person training.

Haj. This course has been purchased by other

• Loews is a Fortune 1000 (#193) conglomerate with interests in insurance, hotels, energy and

governments around the world.

• Middlebury Interactive is a collection of in-depth

entertainment. Within their hotel division, a

foreign language courses developed through a

luxury, prestige brand, we built tablet-based

joint venture with Middlebury College and K12,

training designed to help front desk agents

Inc. Cognotion developed all media assets and

more reliably collect guest information

the strategy behind game development.

by creating empathy, thoughtfulness and moments of awareness at check-in. The demo video below is of an interactive, tablet-based module.


Tailored Solutions For Your Business After diagnosing your business challenges and identifying the new outcomes and behaviors you wish to see in your organization, we tailor the solution to the specific needs of your company and the job function. and gather ancillary evidence to discover the root-cause of your performance problems, and work with you to define what new knowledge or skill is required to achieve your desired outcomes. By acquiring a thorough understanding of your business challenges, we are able to better understand what new mindsets and traits learners need to exhibit in order to create a genuine impact for your organization. We measure the degree of change our solutions have on your business challenges, and provide impact assessments on how the program is changing behaviors and contributing to improved performance. (More information on our evaluative methods is below.) We provide tailoring and scalability. We have expertise in the dispositions, skills, and knowledge requisite for doing a particular job in a particular industry. We have found through our research (which is corroborated by the US Department of Labor) that some skill sets are We begin with a diagnostic process. We believe that

foundational to working in most entry-level

development courses are most effective when they

positions across the board, while others are

are presented within the context of your specific

specific to a particular industry, job function,

business challenges. Learners are more engaged,

country, or organization. With this in mind, we

and more motivated to acquire new skills if they

leverage our expertise in the dispositions, skills,

see a direct connection between their development

and knowledge required to perform particular

experience, and the larger challenges facing your

jobs in specific industries to create a solution

organization. By focusing on tangible business

that is tailored to your unique needs.

challenges, learners can define success both in terms of their own personal development, and your

We provide cost savings through substantive

organization’s larger business objectives.

vetting so that what seems like easy-to-use “off the shelf” content still provides the nuanced, context


To diagnose your organization’s unique

specific, customized solutions you require for the

challenges, we ethnologically observe, interview,

unique needs of your industry and organization.

The Power of Stories and Games We understand that the vetted and trusted content in

Our narratives employ the concept of emotional

our curriculum architecture needs to be transformed

proximity. We develop characters who possess

into effective learning that is both scalable and

strengths and weaknesses, and who change and

context-specific. Regardless of the quality of the

grow as the game (the course) moves forward.

content, we know that a didactic approach does

The learners empathize and identify with the

not engage entry-level workers; at best it is

characters in the game, and recognize their own

derivative, and it is often a pointless endeavor.

desires and concerns in the prototypical heroes. Through this emotional proximity to the in-game

Instead, Cognotion operates on the premise

characters, learners are able to draw upon their

that there is narrative inherent in any teachable

own strengths for better results.

subject. We locate this narrative and craft it into an immersive storyline. The learner progresses

This approach differentiates us. It is grounded in

through the story by drawing upon existing

research that provides the foundation for a sound,

resources and synthesizing new knowledge that is

engaging program. Other pedagogical elements

applicable to his or her work.

we employ are described below.

Learning Experiences that are Relevant to Work Our courses are relevant to the day-to-day

Problem-based/Project-based Learning:

experience of our learners. The obvious

Convincing evidence tells us that problem-

connections between the learning content and

based learning can be powerful both in terms of

their experiences positively impacts engagement

empathy, and in terms of synthesis. It also aligns

with the course. This motivates them to learn and

well with our narrative approach to learning. The

produces the desired changes needed to achieve

learning stories we build include practice problems

business results. In particular, we create relevance

that are applicable and relevant to your business.

by employing these practices: Practice/Experiential: Our ultimate goal is for the learner to experience what we refer to as Cognotization. Similar to the healer’s pedagogy, we take a “see it, try it, do it” approach to learning. First, our learners “see” the challenges facing your organization by experiencing our carefully crafted narratives and engaging with relatable characters. We then supplement the story with practice exercises, games, and simulations, allowing the learners to actively “try” what they see in the course. All of our offerings contain labs. These are the experiential, or “do it” components that provide an evolving, complete solution.


Grounded In Learning Science In addition to the research and learning science

Role of Peers: We believe that the effectiveness

described above, our work is grounded in many

of our courses can be enhanced through peer-

other pedagogical elements. Everything we

to-peer interaction. Whenever possible, we

produce aligns with learning science, such as

recommend solutions that utilize the power of

chunking and linking, context setting, and scope

peer effect, social learning, and communities

and sequence based on desired outcomes. We

of practice. We can explicitly design these

build on Bloom’s Taxonomy, which works for

components into the solution if desired.

knowledge and metacognition, to address skills and character facets of our curriculum and

Engagement and Attrition: Any web-based

produce courses that enable learners to reflect on

learning initiative needs to address the challenge

what they are learning and practice it in their work.

of attrition. Research tells us that self-directed

In addition, we value the following:

learning experiences that are not engaging have a high attrition rate. Good instructional design

Multi-Modal Learning: Evidence suggests that

can influence learner motivation, and therefore,

presenting content in various formats (sound,

increase retention. We address engagement by

text, image, graph, etc.) can heighten learning.

incorporating several well-researched elements

Therefore, we use multiple modalities to present

that encourage motivation. These include fantasy

key concepts.

(motivating the imagination), curiosity (the promise of learning something about the world), and


Role of Coach/Expert: Although our courses are

challenge (a goal that stimulates exploration and

designed to function as stand-alone programs,

encourages new behaviors). Additionally, learners

they can be effectively deployed to support

are more motivated when they begin a course

managers and leaders in the role of a coach.

with confidence and ultimately see it through to

Coaching provides reinforcement for the learning

completion. All of these factors are present in our

and is encouraged wherever possible.

design and methodology.

Data, Assessments, and Evaluation Cognotion is empirical, and we work with you to

We employ both qualitative and quantitative

build reasonable and reliable forms of evidence

approaches to establish a POE, including, but

of efficacy into your solution. We capitalize on the

not limited to, interviews, quantitative surveys,

ability to use “big data” to complete reliable and

double-blind studies, theoretical frameworks, and

rich formative assessments. Our goal is to use

qualitative research.

learning as assessment. Our research enables us to examine the impact on Cognotion designs its measurement activities to

individual and organizational performance metrics,

generate a preponderance of evidence (POE).

identify the guiding qualitative and quantitative

Much of what we study does not seek to prove

research questions under investigation, generate

direct causations in an “x causes y” fashion.

null hypotheses, and identify the measurements to

Instead, we provide evidence that helps to answer

be used to study the analysis of variance. In short,

larger questions, or to lead to better decisions. By

we provide statistically valid evidence of the impact

using a preponderance of evidence methodology,

of the learning experience.

we can better understand a pilot’s overall efficacy. 7

Technical Approach

Our cutting-edge technology ensures ease of use for both the client and the individual learner. Mobile Platforms: We have the capacity to build

highly sophisticated artificial intelligence program

applications for many handheld mobile platforms

that is capable of answering open domain

including smart phones, tablets, and other

questions posed in natural language. Watson sifts

portable computers. We also have the capacity to

through and analyzes enormous volumes of data

build web-based software applications specifically

in order to provide the best possible answers to

tailored to be run on mobile platforms.

naturally worded questions. In 2011, the Watson Program famously defeated champions Brad Rutter

Interactive Video: We have developed an HTML5

and Ken Jennings on the game show Jeopardy!

video player similar to YouTube. Our player allows for random access of video clips with interactive

Platform Compatibility: Our solutions are

overlay elements, such as buttons for navigation

compatible with SCORM, TinCan, Common Cartridge,

and choice selection. We work with a variety of

including support for ISO 15836:2003: Dublin Core

tools such as Flash, Maya, Unity, HD/SD Video, XML,

Metadata Element Set (mapped to the corresponding

PDF, PPT, CSS, iOS, Android and more. We are fully

elements in LOM), IEEE 1484.12.1-2002: Learning

cloud implemented, and have local server-based

Object Metadata, IEEE 1484.12.3-2005: LOM Schema

solutions and tools for synchronous technology that

binding (loose binding). Our solution includes:

enables instruction supported across a variety of

• E2E custom development for instructional

learning platforms (including Blackboard, Moodle,


Udacity, Topyx, Interlude Sakai, and others).\

• Immersive, interactive video that can replace

IBM Watson: We are able to implement IBM’s

• 3D simulation environments • Virtual labs and practice environments

print textbooks Watson System into our programs. Watson is a 8

Quality Assurance Cognotion is grounded in a quality assurance

4. Quality Assurance in Video Design And

process specifically developed for the corporate

Production. We have all seen great stories turned

learning/workforce market. We use a TQM/Project

into bad movies. Since a key component of the

Management framework that focuses on seven

Cognotion approach is the effective use of video to

areas each associated with certain ISO standards.

engage learners, Cognotion adheres to Hollywood

One can think of the Cognotion approach as an

production approaches to quality assurance for

amalgamation of the ISO process used to ensure

media production. See ISO 14496 as an example.

that each step is effective, engaging, and impactful. Our QA processes ensure the successful design and delivery of solutions on time and within budget. For more on this concept, see ISO 9004. 1. Effective Pedagogical Design Process/

5. Quality Assurance in Technical Components. In order to be effective, all technology must take a learner-centric approach as dictated by the top standards in quality assurance in software user interface. Specifically relating

Instructional Design. To ensure that our

to learning technologies, there are the two

programs provide the maximum desired

technical standards adopted in the US –

impact on workplace performance, we

SCORM and Tin Can API, and the global version

ground every asset of our interventions in

can be found in ISO 24751. We can and will

learning science. Our learning design aligns

work with most commercially available learning

with required behavior change, provides

management systems.

true blended modality, and utilizes fast, but thorough assessment and analyses. This process is similar to ADDIE but more akin to the SAM approach. See ISO for a sense of effective engineering of learning (e.g., ISO 24751 and ISO 29990). 2. Content/SME Expertise. We acquire the best

6. Quality Assurance in Localization/Translation. Having significant experience in multiple cultures and languages, Cognotion recognizes that a critical quality assurance component is the ability to localize content and pedagogy. Not only do we translate the language, but we also ensure that our content is contextualized

quality content by relying on the peer review

in a culturally sensitive and accurate way. Again,

process (whether professional or academic)

there are global standards for this grounded

to source from experts. As we “Cognotize� the

in research both in foreign language standards

content and create various assets, we make

and anthropology. See ISO standards 11669 and

sure that each new asset strictly aligns with the

18841 as examples of the approach we use.

content as understood by the expert. 3. Quality Assurance in Gaming/Simulation.

7. Quality Assurance in Evaluation. We use a preponderance of evidence approach adapted

Quality assurance is key to game/simulation

from both the Kirkpatrick Four Levels Model and a

design, as it ensures that each asset is engaging

more rigorous combining of the National Academy

and aligns with the learning objective. The

of Sciences Mixed Methodology (qualitative and

standards in gaming use a SCRUM/AGILE

quantitative approaches). We combine multiple

process. We have found a way in which they can

forms of data in order to paint a more reliable

work well in tandem with ISO 9001. This process

picture of the efficacy of our learning.

is supported by academic evidence, and as such, our gaming team uses a SCRUM approach

The QA Process will ensure all deliverables follow the

housed in the overarching ISO 9001 framework.

state gate process and will be in a standardized form. 9

Cognotion’s Executive Team Doug Lynch is Cognotion’s Chief Learning Officer. He is currently a faculty member at USC. Prior to this position, Doug worked at the University of Pennsylvania, NYU, and ASU. Doug is a leading figure in corporate learning and frequently lectures and writes on the topic. He has testified before the UN and Congress on e-learning, and has sat on presidential, gubernatorial, and various other industry boards. Jeanette Winters is one of the US’s foremost chief learning officers. She has been accountable for safety training at some of the world’s largest companies, and is regarded as a leading authority on implementing large-scale safety training programs. She has been the global learning and talent executive of Intel, Amgen, and American Express. Joanna Schneier, CEO of Cognotion Inc., has been leading the development of award-winning interactive and adaptive workforce training since 1999. Joanna led the development of workforce training courses for the Ministry of Labor of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of their Education to Employment initiative. Prior to Cognotion, Ms. Schneier built Third Space Creative, an internationally recognized, full-fledged end-to-end business strategy and marketing consultancy, which has served Fortune 500 corporations, governments, leading universities, and the world’s largest publishers. She has also served as a consultant for distinguished nonprofits in the field of human trafficking, including USAID. Jonathan Dariyanani is Cognotion’s president. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing educational applications in a variety of contexts, including the implementation of third-party validated efficacy trials to test the effectiveness of the intervention. He has worked in educational technology, effectiveness, access, and equity since 2002, and has created works in 42 countries and 11 languages. His work as served a learner population from pre-kindergarten through adult learners. Jonathan led in the architecture and building of technologybased learning interventions that have been positively evaluated by extensive university-based research. Jon Thrasher leads Cognotion’s efforts to connect with companies that recognize their challenges in workforce training, and develop innovative and effective solutions for them. He is an experienced and capable business development executive who has established senior-level relationships with Fortune 100 companies, across a range of industries. Jon attributes his success over the past three decades to his ability to listen and learn and then using that reconnaissance, offer realistic and achievable solutions. He believes that successful relationships are built upon trust and most often through face-to-face interactions. He is a strong personable communicator who is able to build consensus within complex organizations. 10

Awards & Recognition Cognotion’s team members have been recognized as outstanding leaders in the field of e-learning: 2015, American Association of Publisher’s

2012, CODiE SIIA finalist

REVERE Award Winner, 1776 Challenge Cup Educational Winner

2011, Bronze Medal for

Serious Educational Games

2014, In recognition of its innovative products and solutions, participate in the

Cognotion was selected to

Kaplan Techstarter Accelerator

Telly Award

Program, a three-month immersive mentorship and business development program in

New York City.

2003, APX Award For Program

2013, Reader’s Choice Award for

2002, U.S. Department Of Commerce

Top 50 Educational Technology

Presidential “E-Award” For Innovation


2001, HR Executive Top 10 Award

The George Washington University

Office of Online Learning

Bender Excellence in Teaching Award

Initiatives Fellowship

CEO Joanna Schneier on Social Media Week’s “Startups to Watch” panel 11

COGN TION Bridging the skills gap. 1407 Broadway, 24th floor New York, NY 10018 T 718.683.1529


F 347.705.7956

Cognotion supplies cloud-based workforce

training and talent management software solutions to Fortune 1000 companies and governments, with a specialty in improving performance and retention for entry-level, low skill and/or high turnover workers. Our clients are diverse and include Loews Hotels, Panera Bread, the Ministry

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Meet Cognotion brochure  

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