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What's Cogent?

Project based learning for a global career

"No, really," you're saying. "What's 'cogent'?"

According to the dictionary, the word cogent [ko' junt] comes from a 14th Century French word that meant "necessary, urgent." Today's English word means something very similar, namely, "convincing; appealing to the powers of reason". As you may guess from this, on this page, we introduce our company. However, our main purpose is a little different. It is to offer you and your organizations some ideas about building a global career. What kind of learning is necessary and urgent for such a career? "What's cogent?"

For a global career, the learning that is cogent is project based.

We do this because building a global career is becoming more important every day, but it is also becoming more difficult. In the 21st Century, having a global career means being able to communicate, cooperate and perform. It means being able to collaborate and produce, not only with your group, but also with outsiders, with others different than you.

Such learning is not academic. It is not subject matter that can be mastered outside the operating world, and it it not passing a multiple choice test, nor is it, most importantly, anything that you can do by yourself.

The learning that is cogent is project based. Project based learning (PBL) and its family - problem based learning, task-based learning, and internships - build project know-how, that is, empathy, imagination, systems thinking, rigor, collaboration, and management skills. Such know-how enables participants to collaborate and produce in today's complex, conflicted and turbulent contexts.

At Cogent Language, our mission is to help build project know-how for careers by project based learning. Our core competence is in designing and deploying PBL for individuals and organizations, including businesses, universities, schools, and NPO's. 

So, before you choose to do any sort of learning for your career, take a close look at the opportunity. Then compare its features with ours. Here is a checklist to help.

1.If the learning isn't personal, it isn't cogent

Is the subject matter of the course pre-determined? After you sign up, do you as the participant have any meaningful choices about the content of the course? Project based learning gives participants significant choices about what topics they want to focus on and work with. How else can learning connect with a person's ideals and dreams? In Cogent Language courses, participants have meaningful choices after they sign up about what specific topics they take up.

2. If the learning isn't constructive, it isn't cogent.

Is the course or curriculum based on videos, slides, or browsing? Projects aren't built that way. Project managers need to watch and listen, no doubt, but their job then is to produce something. In Cogent Language courses, participants build work products that make a difference in their worlds: models, plans, and management decisions.

3. If the learning isn't collaborative, it isn't cogent.

Project management is all about other people and organizations. It calls them stakeholders. If the work that will you do in the course that your are looking at is private and at your own pace, then what you may learn to manage is your own time. May learn.
That is nice, but it is not project management. Participants in our courses take on the risks and challenges of collaborating with others under time constraint.

4. If the learning isn't cumulative, it isn't cogent.

In the course, are lessons organized simply by topic? Hmm. Do they build on previous work? Do they incorporate the work of others? Do they accumulate team knowledge in a concrete product? If not, then what, please, is the connection of the lessons in the course to careers in the 21st Century? Careers today are built by being able to progressively elaborate work in a team context. Participants in Cogent Language courses build work products cumulatively.
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