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4621 N Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
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NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

Behavior trumps knowledge: making big changes with e-learning


Behavior trumps knowledge: making big changes with e-learning

Katie Markovich

At NogginLabs, we believe that behavior trumps knowledge. That's a nice belief to have, isn't it? I feel like I hear it in meetings all the time, or perhaps I see it on our business cards. But I have to come clean: before I started writing this post, I searched the phrase “behavior trumps knowledge” online.

I know what it means in the context of NogginLabs, but I wanted to see what it means to the rest of the Internet. Once I waded through the articles about a different kind of trump, I came upon a number of psychological studies about this exact topic. People care about this! But then those were filled with complicated jargon, volumes of annotations, graphs, and figures; people have committed their lives to finding the link between behavior and knowledge. If I may, I would now like to present my own humble contributions to the topic. 

Don’t get me wrong: knowledge is good. In fact, knowledge is very good. It’s why I paid so much money for my college diploma and why pub trivia championships have become such a badge of coolness. But with time I’ve come to realize that raw knowledge does not always benefit me. How am I supposed to take action, internalize, or process anything if all I can do is regurgitate a bunch of facts?

This is where behavior enters the picture. This is where we start talking about how to apply knowledge in a real-world setting, the way you will be required to act when the time comes for action. This is why we build realistic simulations, work hard to gamify your content, and create custom e-learning. We understand what it means to change the way your learners behave.


Let me give you an example: You work at a company that sells computers and unfortunately, sales have been down this quarter. You’re in charge of training employees on how to sell more computers. You give them a workbook of all the newest computer models, the ones they haven’t had much interaction with yet. You think that maybe if they know more, they can sell more.

The workbook is straightforward information about the computers, the kind of stuff you might memorize. When it comes time to actually sell computers, though, your employees realize they don’t really know how to do that. They’ve changed their knowledge, yes, but they didn’t change their behavior. Your employees needed to be taught how to apply the knowledge they learned in their workbooks. They need the confidence necessary to recognize that behavior trumps knowledge. 

NogginLabs was founded on designing custom e-learning that changes behavior. We know that this can result in the most good for your learners and your business. Sure, there are plenty of studies performed and abstracts written about the relationship between behavior and knowledge. If you don't have a bunch of time to read them, let me give you the key takeaway: when you design training, figure out what you want people to do differently at the end of the course (define your success). This is the behavior you are looking to change. Now, go design an engaging course that simulates the job environment and provides ample practice opportunities. Eliminate the boring read-click stuff that no one will read anyway. And presto, behavior change.