Our Services

Engines for Education is a non-profit that develops curricula for schools (elementary through post-graduate). We have extensive experience developing courses and programs with meaningful goals that simulate real-life situations, and provide students opportunities to practice the skills they need to succeed in the real world. We partner with schools to create alternatives to traditional lecture-based formats.

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We offer the following services to clients:

Course and Curriculum Design and Development

Our design approach relies on a partnership with schools and educators to ensure that we truly understand the desired outcomes and performance objectives in order to create learning experiences that will have the greatest impact. For a course to be effective, students must be able to learn by doing authentic, motivating tasks in the context of solving real world types of problems. Our designers and developers have a wealth of experience determining the most effective way for participants to practice key skills.

Engines for Education courses are characterized by a high degree of interactivity between students and teachers, where teachers serve as mentors in the learning process, not lecturers. We develop detailed teacher guides to support teachers in these efforts by giving them insight into common student mistakes, tips and suggested questions. Engines for Education has extensive experience developing courses that can be delivered in the classroom, in a virtual classroom, as a web-mentored, or as pure e-learning.

Classroom Programs

We provide materials to help teachers implement programs in their classrooms. Students are typically grouped into small teams, working together to solve relevant, real world problems. Teachers are provided step-by-step guides for implementing the project, and for providing just-in-time instruction on an as-needed basis.

Virtual Classroom

Our virtual programs follow the same general structure as our classroom programs: students working, often in teams, to achieve a relevant, real-world objective. Teachers are available to provide just-in-time support, feedback, assist with any teaming issues, and to monitor progress. The only difference is the medium; students might “meet” via the phone or use simple communication technology such as (skype or other video conferencing, email, im, etc..), as opposed to in person, and teachers check in using similar technology, as opposed to face-to-face.

For virtual courses, the supporting documentation is similar to that in our classroom courses, but we extend the coach guides to include instruction on working within the virtual class environment.


We develop course websites in which participant and mentor materials are housed, enabling participants to do their work remotely, both synchronously and asynchronously. Web-mentored courses may be delivered over a longer timeframe, where students do their assigned work on a part-time basis. Students may work alone or in teams (remote or co-located). Virtual teams may use a range of communication technologies, including email, telephone, online meeting spaces, shared documents and wikis, whatever is available. Periodically the cohort may "come together" using a virtual classroom or online meeting space to present and discuss their work products or to engage in group discussions and tutorials.

Pure e-Learning

Engines for Education develops e-learning courses in which students learn by doing authentic tasks, and receive feedback on their work from the computer program. Students are placed in a simulated situation (one that is relevant to their real world work) in which something happens fictionally and they need to respond. We use three main teaching architectures as design frameworks:

  • Turn Taking: an event occurs, the student responds, and sees the results of his or her actions; this process continues until a goal is achieved.
  • Observe and Critique: the student observes the behavior of others (often via video), or reviews documents and critiques them, typically employing a rubric.
  • Investigate and Decide: the student is presented with a complex decision to make, and must research appropriate background material to make and justify the decision.

These courses are entirely self-contained. The use of media ranges from simple text and graphics to interactive video.

Re-design of Current Education Offerings

Engines for Education is keenly interested in reforming the education system. We believe that people learn by doing and not by listening to lectures and taking tests. We believe that academics have hijacked the educational system to produce courses that are oriented towards research and theories rather than towards building useful skills in students. John Adams, the second U.S. President, said that school should teach us how to live and how to make a living. We heartily agree with those sentiments.

We work with schools and universities to redesign their offerings, building practical programs that produce students who are ready to go to work in their chosen field and are ready to think deeply about the issues in their chosen field. We are not interested in filling students with academic knowledge in readiness for research careers which is the (often unstated) vision of most universities.

Workshops and Partnering on Instructional Design and Development

We partner with educators to help them build more authentic, meaningful courses, founded on proven principles of cognitive science. We deliver workshops on our methodology and work with our partners throughout the development process.