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Sponge UK elearning podcast

Digital learning and online training opinions and interviews from leading elearning company Sponge UK. Getting to the heart of great elearning with absorbing interviews, ideas and tips. For more elearning insights visit SpongeUK.com.
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Sponge UK elearning podcast
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Aug 23, 2016

Robert Pratten is founder and CEO of Conducttr, a transmedia storytelling platform that’s used in digital training simulations.

You can see the slides from Robert’s talk at the eLearning Guild’s games and gamification conference on Slideshare.

Find out more about Robert’s book Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling, a practical guide for beginners, currently in it’s second edition.

Follow Robert on Twitter: @robpratten

Robert mentions the book Walking the Talk by Carolyn Taylor.

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:41 – Can you explain what’s meant by “transmedia storytelling”?
  • 02:11 – What makes this type of scenario based learning effective?
  • 04:43 – Do you have any examples of organisations that are successfully using simulations, or the benefits they’re seeing?
  • 09:15 – Are there any technical considerations when using this type of simulation?
  • 12:02 – Are simulations particularly time consuming to produce compared to other types of training?
Aug 9, 2016

Sam Taylor has many years of experience working in learning and her current role is as a digital development manager for a leading company.

We talk to Sam about how to create a strong learning culture in your organisation.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @samt_el

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:39 - Describe an organisation that has a strong learning culture
  • 01:44 - What are the organisational benefits of having the learning culture that you've described?
  • 02:33 - What does it feel like for the learners themselves, what benefits do they get and how does it feel to be an individual within this learning culture?
  • 04:22 - Where are we now in terms of achieving these ideal visions of a learning organisation?
  • 05:57 - What are the kind of things we can do to create a learning culture in our organisation?
  • 09:40 - What are your tips for developing employees that are self directed learners?
  • 12:44 - How important is social learning to the learning culture and if an organisation isn't supporting social learning can it really have a learning culture?
  • 14:03 - What are the biggest barriers that you and your peers face when seeking to adopt a learning culture?
Jul 26, 2016

Andy Nock is a Director at the Elearning Network and has worked with augmented and virtual reality in learning.

Andy explains the differences between the two technologies as well as the opportunities that they offer for L&D professionals.

Follow Andy on Twitter: @AndyNock83

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:34 – Can you define augmented and virtual reality?
  • 01:50 – What opportunities exist for using these technologies in L&D?
  • 03:08 – Have you seen any real examples of use of Virtual and augmented reality yet?
  • 04:57 – Are there any tools you recommend for L&D people to try out the technologies out?
  • 06:18 – How long do you think it will be before we’re seeing these technologies more regularly in the L&D industry?
  • 07:01 – What do you find most exciting about AR and VR?

Andy recommends the following apps and hardware for L&D professionals looking to experimenting with augmented and virtual reality:

  • Layar – an augmented reality app for smart phones and tablet with a desktop creator studio
  • Unity – a 3d games engine for creating interactive 3D environments for AR and VR
  • Ricoh Theta S camera – a 360-degree camera
Jul 15, 2016

David Patterson is a consultant at Learning Light and the co-author of their report on the UK elearning market.

We asked David about the trends he's seeing in the elearning industry and what members of the industry should be concentrating on to ensure growth continues.

We cover Brexit, learning technology as well as future and current elearning trends.

Find out more about David Patterson at the Learning Light website.

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:39 - What is the current direction of travel for the elearning industry?
  • 01:07 - Are people asking about Brexit's impact on the elearning industry?
  • 03:19 - Is there a trend in elearning that's taken you by surprise?
  • 04:23 - Which learning technologies or strategies are creating the biggest impact and making the most difference?
  • 06:04 - Are learners in modern organisations open to learning technologies?
  • 07:00 - What do companies that are seeing success with learning technologies do that gives them an edge?
  • 08:07 - We've seen a rapid pace of change in elearning over the last few years will that continue?
Jun 28, 2016

Victor Yocco is a Philadelphia-based researcher and author on psychology and communication. For this podcast episode we're talking with Victor about the application of principles of psychology to online education design.

His latest book Design for the mind looks at how to create online learning that appeals to our innate natural responses as human being.

He has written for Smashing Magazine and A List Apart, find out more on his website or connect with Victor on Twitter: @VictorYocco

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:39 - What does elearning look like if it is designed without psychology in mind?
  • 04:36 - How can we use psychological principles to better engage our audiences?
  • 07:03 - How can we design elearning to promote behavioural change in an organisation?
  • 10:42 - What are your tips, in terms of psychology, for getting elearning to stick?
  • 13:08 - Can you tell us about the use of social networks to influence people and how that might apply to elearning?
  • 18:06 - How much knowledge do learning designers need to be successful in using psychology in their work?
  • 21:30 - What does elearning look like if it is designed with psychology?
Jun 16, 2016

We talk to Mike Booth and Teresa Rose, two L&D industry professionals about how to best serve your learners by focusing on their needs.

Mike Booth is Learning Technologies Manager at Vodaphone, we get his ideas on responding to the requirements of learners.

Teresa Rose is Digital Learning Strategist at energy company E.On who explains how to deal with different types of learners and what we can learn from research into the industry by people like Towards Maturity.

We spoke to Mike and Teresa at the CIPD show earlier this year, you can watch their whole interviews and more on our YouTube channel.

You can follow Teresa Rose on Twitter at @teresarose01 and find out more about Mike Booth's work on his CIPD profile.

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:42 - Mike Booth - Do we listen to learners enough?
  • 01:18 - Mike Booth - What do you do to make sure you're approaching this learning challenge the right way?
  • 01:51 - Mike Booth - Is it time to be thinking mobile first?
  • 02:59 - Teresa Rose - Is there such a thing as a typical modern learner?
  • 03:30 - Teresa Rose - What does L&D need to do to get to the heart of what modern learners need?
  • 04:46 - Teresa Rose - How important will personalised learning be in the future?
May 31, 2016

David Wilson is the CEO of Fosway Group, an independent researcher into Human Resources and learning in business.

With 20 years of research behind him, David Wilson has a unique perspective on how technology can be used to help learners in business.

Listen to hear about the trends that have been revealed over the years of Fosway Group research and where L&D teams can improve the way they work with technology.

You can follow David on Twitter at @dwil23 and find out more about the work that The Fosway Group does on fosway.com.

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:37 - What's your background and approach to elearning?
  • 01:11 - Tell us about The Fosway Group and the research that you carry out?
  • 04:20 - Is there a gap between what people say they're doing or what they aspire to do and what they're doing in practice?
  • 07:22 - What are the recurring trends and new things that you're seeing in your research?
  • 11:03 - What are the encouraging signs coming out of your research?
  • 15:28 - How do you think things are going to evolve over the next few years?
May 17, 2016

Chuck Lorenz is an elearning developer who contributes to the Adapt learning project. We spoke to him to find out why it's one of the most talked about new elearning authoring technologies.

If you're not familiar with Adapt it's a set of free, open source tools that allow anyone to create responsive elearning content.

It means you can create one course that can be accessed on any type of device with a modern web browser whether you have programming experience or not.

You can find lots more information and examples of projects built in Adapt at adaptlearning.org

Chuck has recently been given a place in the Adapt steering group so we thought it would be a good time to catch up with him to get the perspective of an independent contributor.

"I like beautiful things, I like to help people, I like education, I like technology and that all fits together with Adapt"

Hopefully this podcast will inspire you to check out how Adapt could work for you and how you might be able to contribute to the project yourself in the future.

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 01:08 - As someone based in the US how do you find working on a project with many team members based in the UK?
  • 01:53 - What’s your background in developing digital learning?
  • 02:34 - How did you first hear about Adapt?
  • 03:25 - When did you first encounter Adapt?
  • 03:38 - Are there any alternative open source authoring tools out there?
  • 03:56 - Do you see the demand for responsive learning content increasing in the future?
  • 05:52 - What was the first thing that struck you about the Adapt project?
  • 07:12 - Where have you contributed the most to the Adapt project?
  • 08:38 - Do you have any advice for developers who want to contribute to the Adapt project?
  • 11:00 - Can you explain what accessibility means in terms of the Adapt project?
  • 12:26 - Is there anything in particular that you're looking forward to in the Adapt project?
May 6, 2016

Julian Stodd is an author, speaker and popular blogger who accompanies his insights into social learning and theory with thoughtful illustrations.

His blog has gained a large following thanks to the accessible way he introduces concepts through everyday events.

We'd recommend subscribing to the frequently updated and colourful blog at julianstodd.wordpress.com.

Follow Julian on Twitter at @julianstodd

Find out more about Julian's consulting at seasaltlearning.com.

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:45 - What does learning in the Social Age look and feel like for the people at the sharp end, that is the learners?
  • 01:54 - What’s the role of L&D in supporting social learning?
  • 03:27 - What’s the single most important thing you can do to support social learning in your own organisation?
  • 04:44 - Where do organisations go wrong with social learning?
  • 06:10 - What is the role of technology in social learning?
  • 09:07 - Where does curation fit into social learning?
Apr 19, 2016

Get inspired for your next elearning game with excerpts from interviews and talks with a range of experts from the world of elearning games.

This episode follows up on #gameweek, our annual focus on games and gamification in digital learning. We hear from a range of experts and elearning creators on how to use game based learning to promote engagement and get results from your learners.

As an introduction Sponge UK's Louise Pasterfield, talking in a webinar for the Learning and Skills Group , explains where games can be most useful in digital learning.

  • 00:20 - Louise Pasterfield on when elearning games are most appropriate

There are many ways to create games or add gamified elements to an online training course, and one of the most common is using an elearning authoring tool. Articulate's Tom Kuhlman spoke to us in 2015 about some of the pitfalls of using game elements within an elearning tool.

  • 01:43 - Tom Kuhlman on adding gamification features to elearning authoring tools

We caught up more recently with Sponge UK's learning game designer Jason Butler when we were talking about Adapt , a software framework that makes it easier to create one course that can be accessed on many different devices. He gives us the low down on whether a game can be integrated with an Adapt course.

  • 02:42 - Jason Butler on building games with Adapt

So you've got different options for building the games themselves, but how do you go about tackling the design process if you haven't taken on an elearning game before? Louise Pasterfield takes us through the differences between traditional elearning design and creating a game experience.

  • 06:28 - Louise Pasterfield on the difference between traditional elearning and games design 

Gamification consultant Pete Jenkins spoke to us last week and brought up some interesting examples of how gamification is getting real results. We asked him how L&D can prove the link between gamified initiatives, learning outcomes and business results.

  • 08:00 - Pete Jenkins on proving gamification works

To wrap up the special #gameweek podcats Professor Karl Kapp, author, consultant and guest on our gameweek hangout has some advice on how to evaluate how well games are working for your learners.

  • 09:51 - Karl Kapp on measuring the success of games and what you can do to make sure you get the best out of your feedback
Apr 5, 2016

David Kelly is Vice president and executive director of the Elearning Guild, he's one of the people you go to when you want to know what's hot in elearning technology.

Follow David on Twitter @LnDDave.

The questions and their times are provided so you can skip back and forth to learn more on a specific subject:

  • 00:34 - What's the value of staying up to date with emerging technology?
  • 01:35 - How do you judge what technology has potential in the learning space and what hasn't?
  • 03:00 - What have you seen that has the potential to disrupt the learning landscape?
  • 06:00 - Are there any red herrings that people thought would be important but haven't emerged as expected?
  • 08:24 - How to learning and development professionals stay ahead of the curve?

Topics covered in this interview include:

  • Technology in general and how it can be applied to digital learning
  • Mobile technology and it's potential for learning
  • Interactive video
  • Google glass as a successful experiment in augmented reality

Read highlights from the interview in the accompanying blog post.

Mar 22, 2016

Our guest for episode 3 is highly respected instructional designer and author Julie Dirksen, you'll be hearing her views on helping learners to form good habits, how to avoid some common design mistakes and what we can all learn from video game designers.

The second edition of Julie Dirksen's book Design for how people learn is regarded as one of the best starting points for anyone new to instructional design.

Here are the questions asked during the interview with their times for quick reference:

  • 00.39 What's changed since you wrote the first edition of the book?
  • 05.29 What's the most common mistake that people make when they're designing learning experiences?
  • 08.57 What are the neuroscience basics that learning professionals need to know?
  • 13.07 What are the skills or knowledge that games can teach us really well?
  • 19.24 Is there an example of video in elearning that has definitely got it right?
  • 22.50 What are the challenges facing women working in the learning technologies industry?
  • 29.00 What are you most excited about when you think of the future of elearning?

Links to the authors and theories discussed in the interview:

Mar 8, 2016

Dave Buglass, Head of Capability and Development at Tesco Bank is the guest for this episode of the Sponge UK podcast, recorded at the Learning Technologies 2016 conference.

Dave was Learning and Develpment Professional of the year and Chief Learning Officer of the year in 2014, he's got more than 20 years experience in L&D and shares his thoughts on what's changed over that time and what needs to change in order for the L&D function to become more effective in the future.

Read excerpts of this interview in out accompanying blog post. http://spongeuk.com/2016/02/whats-holding-ld-back-is-actually-ld/

00:40 - What's changed in L&D over the 20 years you've been doing this?
01:33 - What do you think is holding L&D back from the point where the learner is the centre of everything?
02:53 - On a practical level how do you do that?
03:52 - What part should the L&D vendors be playing?
05:02 - You did the foreward for the most recent Towards Maturity report "Embracing Change" Is 2016 going to be the year of change?

Feb 16, 2016

Elliott Masie is one of the best known learning experts in the world, he's an author, conference host, learning researcher and even a broadway producer.
Figurehead and founder of the influential Masie center, he held his first learning conference 25 years ago so we started by asking if it's easier or harder for learning professionals now than back then.
The interview covers excitement at future technologies, serious games, personalised learning, mobile learning and what L&D can learn from Broadway.

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