October 15th, 2013

Contact Info:
Marty Rosenheck, Ph.D.
CEO and Chief Learning Strategist
Cognitive Advisors

Cognitive Advisors Launches TREK Learning Experience ManagerTM to Harness Informal and Experiential Learning

Cognitive Advisors announced today that it will launch the TREK Learning Experience ManagerTM at DevLearn 2013. TREK, a brand new class of software built from the ground up on the Experience API (Tin Can), goes beyond the LMS to harness the power of informal and experiential learning. TREK is a mobile cloud-based application that manages, captures, and tracks informal learning (like coaching conversations, looking things up, or viewing brief videos) and experiential learning (real world, on-the-job experiences). It enables the creation of individualized learning paths that optimize the path to achievement of key competencies, awards badges to recognize achievements, and provides learning analytics to tie learning to business results.

“People master new skills most efficiently through a systematic combination of formal, informal and experiential learning,” said Marty Rosenheck, CEO and Chief Learning Strategist at Cognitive Advisors, “but traditional Learning Management Systems are designed to only support formal learning, which accounts for approximately 10% of the real learning that happens. Without support for the other 90%, the informal and experiential learning, learning professionals have no easy way to manage and track the entire learning process. We built TREK to fill that gap.”

Cognitive Advisors will unveil an Early Adopter Program at DevLearn. This program is for organizations that are already using informal and experiential learning to get their employees up to speed, but have no easy way to track and manage the process. The first 10 organizations that enroll will have the opportunity to pilot TREK, customize it to meet their needs, and get personalized support – all at significantly reduced prices.

How the TREK Learning Experience Manager Works

The TREK Learning Experience Manager is one of the first solutions built from the ground up to take advantage of the Experience API (Tin Can), the new post-SCORM standard that supports tracking of all types of learning outside of the LMS.

TREK provides the following features:

  • TREK’s responsive design is optimized for mobile and delivers the ideal experience for all devices – computer, tablet, and smartphone.
  • Flexible learning paths allow learners to combine the right mix of formal, informal and experiential learning activities to meet their particular needs. By completing the activities on their individualized learning paths, learners develop the competencies they need for top-notch performance.
  • A mobile ePortfolio supports and captures experiential and informal learning activities, including field-based experiences and coaching conversations. The ePortfolio allows people to use their mobile devices to capture geolocation, photos, and audio to document their field-based learning experiences. ePortfolio entries encourage learners to reflect on their learning and share ideas and best practices documented in the ePortfolio to social sites.
  • The mobile Observation Guide supports coaches in providing targeted feedback with custom observation checklists and free-form feedback fields.
  • TREK provides reporting and analytics through the Learning Record Store (LRS), a valuable repository of fine-grained learner activity. TREK provides reporting on progress of individuals, groups, or the entire organization. Analytics on the learning path for the highest performers can guide the optimization of learning for others and ties the learning to business metrics to demonstrate the value of training investments to the organization
  • TREK issues badges that recognize achievement of milestones. Badges add an element of gamification and fun to learning. They also show evidence of how the badge was earned, giving powerful proof of the learner’s knowledge and skills. TREK ties into Mozilla’s Open Badges framework so the badges earned can be authenticated and shared.
  • TREK is a cloud-based solution that enables users to start working on one device and seamlessly finish it on another. It also eliminates complicated IT setup.
  • TREK’s open architecture (APIs and web services) leverages the investment already made in systems. It plays nicely with existing LMSs, HRIS, social sites, performance management systems, and business metrics databases.

TREK in Action

An early adopter of TREK, the Water Quality Association, is using an innovative approach to getting field service technicians, equipment installers, and sales reps up to speed and certified quickly. They have developed a competency-based curriculum that puts field-based (experiential) learning first, supported by mobile performance support and coaching (informal), as well as some online learning (formal). Learners follow a flexible learning path on their mobile devices. The learning path guides them through a sequence of learning activities that are aligned with required skills and competencies.

For example, an installer who needs to learn how to install a piece of equipment consults her learning path on her smartphone. The learning path guides her to view an online learning module on how to install it, then to review an installation checklist from the mobile knowledge base, and finally to practice installing it at a customer site. When she is done, she uses her smartphone to create an ePortfolio entry: she takes a picture of her work, records a brief audio note about challenges she faced, and geotags the customer location. She sends it to her supervisor to review. They refer to the ePortfolio entry during their coaching conversation later that week. When she has demonstrated that she can successfully install that equipment, she is issued an electronic badge that she proudly shares through the Mozilla badges “backpack.”

TREK’s ability to leverage mobile devices to capture real world experiences in the workplace, makes it especially well-suited for mobile workforces like field service, sales, leadership, and professional development.

To learn more about TREK Learning Experience Manager, visit

About Cognitive Advisors

Cognitive Advisors provides learning strategy consulting on how to integrate informal, experiential, and formal learning to optimize the path to top-notch performance. To support the goal of optimizing performance, we have developed software that aligns experiential and informal learning with competencies to create flexible learning paths that shorten the time to proficiency. This cutting-edge software, the TREK Learning Experience ManagerTM is a mobile and desktop application that is based on the Experience API (Tin Can). TREK goes beyond what an LMS can do by capturing and aligning the 90% of learning that is experiential and informal. Visit our website to learn more.