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
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Sponge UK elearning podcast




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Apr 19, 2017

Stella Collins is creative director of Stellar Learning and author of Neuroscience for learning & development. She runs workshops and programmes​ throughout the UK on how to be a brain friendly trainer and many other subjects.

Our discussion focuses on empathy in learning design and includes topics like learner generated content, storytelling, personalising learning, the learner journey, different approaches to face to face and digital learning and much more.

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

  • 00:34 – Why is empathy important in learning design?
  • 01:38 – How does empathy helps our understanding of learners?
  • 03:05 – Is there different considerations for face to face training versus digital training
  • 04:37 – What effect does it have on the training when you take into account the way learners are feeling when they start the training?
  • 06:39 – Have you heard from anyone who's been through your train the trainer process and benefited from the empathy for learners that it promotes?
  • 07:49 – Does having training available anytime, anywhere play a role in how successful that training can be?
  • 08:40 – Do you think empathy gets overlooked in the design process, and if so, why?
  • 10:16 - Do you have any tips or techniques for building empathy into their training?
  • 14:18 - what are your views on using gamification to increase engagement with learners?
  • 16:46 - Where can people go to find out more about your book Neuroscience for learning and development?
  • 17:09 - Are there any final thoughts on empathy in learning design?
Sep 9, 2016

Chris Wharton is an experienced illustrator who has worked on hundreds of elearning projects as part of Sponge UK’s visual design team.

See some of Chris’ work on Instagram: @designbywharton

Read more about design in elearning on the Sponge UK Blog:

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

  • 00:40 – What are the benefits of using an illustrative approach in your elearning content?
  • 01:42 – How important is it to create bespoke illustrations?
  • 02:36 – Are there any situations where illustrations aren’t appropriate for elearning?
  • 03:42 – Why do you think infographics are so popular in elearning?
  • 04:30 – What’s the difference between static illustration and illustration for animation?
  • 05:38 – What kind of resources or tools are you using to help succeed as a visual design team?
  • 06:19 – What do you need to take into account when illustrating for responsive or mobile courses?
  • 07:16 – What kind of skills or specialities make an illustrator particularly suited to elearning?
  • 08:02 – How do you think augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will change the way illustrators work?
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 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

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?
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