Skip to main content

Explore Spark

Explore the scalable platform that can be learned by anyone in 45 mins, and up and running in as little as one day.

Learn more

We’re hiring!

We have exciting new roles available. Join our growing team and begin an unforgettable journey.

Learn more

Looking for something?

Home / Resources / 2016: 12 months of learning

2016: 12 months of learning


This holiday season, we’re wrapping up the major events of the year in digital learning and delivering some tips and resources that you might have missed.

2016 has been an eventful year with each month bringing new ideas to the fore for Learning & Development.

January – Elearning in 2016

At the start of the year, learning industry figures came together to talk about the big ideas for learning in 2016.

We heard from Donald Taylor on microlearning, which entered the top five in his learning survey results for the first time. With the subject picking up steam again recently in L&D circles, it seems the prediction was ahead of the curve.

John Curran brought many cognitive science books to our attention and extolled the virtues of self-directed learning.

Laura Overton let us know that putting the learner first was going to remain the priority for top performing learning organisations.

You can catch up on the whole hangout here and subscribe to our YouTube channel for access to future hangouts.

February – Learning Technologies Exhibition

Learning Technologies has continued to grow into one of the most important events in the learning calendar. Dan Roddy described LT2016 as “the biggest and busiest I’ve ever seen it” and joined industry figures in talking through their perspectives in our series of mini interviews.

During the exhibition, we saw some of the first glimpses of augmented and virtual reality for training, as well as tried and trusted technology like games and gamification and interactive video.

Preparations are well under way for next year’s event on the 1-2 February and you can sign up for a free ticket on the Learning Technologies website. Make sure to visit Sponge on stand C10 and look out for our seminar sessions on 360 interactive video and employee knowledge platforms.

March – Julie Dirksen Podcast

The Sponge podcast got off to a great start in 2016 with Elliott Masie talking us through his vision for the future of learning; March saw it continue to attract big name guests.

In the third episode, Julie Dirksen, author of the ‘go to’ book for learning designers, Design for how people learn, talked to us about the latest theories on effective learning design.

April - #GameWeek

Games and gamification are becoming more popular in learning solutions. If you want to make sure your learners are getting the benefits of games and avoiding the gimmicks and pitfalls take a closer look at our infographic.

#GameWeek highlighted the latest research in the games and gamification arena, helped you find your perfect gamification guru and gave everyone a chance to talk learning games with our own Jason Butler.

May – CIPD Show

The CIPD Learning and Development Show provided a platform for many learning professionals to talk about how they’re developing talent within their organisations.

We spoke to several experts and put the interviews on YouTube for anyone who couldn’t make the event.

June – Business simulations

As the UK came to terms with the EU referendum results, the L&D world got together again at the Learning Technologies Summer Forum.

In a popular seminar, Kate Nicholls introduced a unique business simulation built for pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline.

Learn about how a simulation helps meet business challenges and hear about a real example in the benefits of business simulation.

July – Big Sponge Hangout

July 2016 saw the first Big Sponge Hangout, a virtual conference featuring videos and live webinars from a variety of industry voices.

Anyone who wasn’t too busy catching Pokemon enjoyed the opportunity to take in talks on mobile learning, translation, learner-focused design, and more, as well as live case study webinars featuring successful learning solutions.

For a full list of sessions, and to request access to the recordings from the event, visit the Big Sponge Hangout page.

August – Learner surveys

Whilst the Rio Olympics provided a distraction for most of the world, our attention turned to learner surveys. Getting the most useful feedback from your learners and using it to transform your learning solutions is something we all aspire to do well.

By providing a template and guidelines on how to implement a simple learner survey you’re on the right track to providing better experiences for your learners.

September – Business case for games

Apple controversially released the iPhone 7 without a headphone jack, when asked why they omitted the connector Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing said: “Courage”

If courage isn’t enough to push through a new type of learning solution, like using games and gamification for your online training for the first time, you could try outlining the business case.

In our September webinar, we explained the real benefits businesses from using games and gamification in their digital training.

Watch a recording of the session here.

October – Cyber security

With high profile leaks and hacks of data causing concern for companies and political processes in 2016, cyber security was never far from the news. Over 142 million digital records were exposed in October 2016 alone according to UK organisation, IT Governance.

We spoke with Mike Dieroff, an expert in data security, and learning designer Katie Hall to find out about the latest threats and how L&D teams can help to combat them with some real life case studies.

Highlights of the session included a demo of the recent cyber security game for the Scouts Association and Vodafone and talk about the real risks to your data.

Watch a recording for all the details on our YouTube channel.

November – DevLearn

Every November, Las Vegas hosts the Elearning Guild’s DevLearn conference, bringing together the latest in learning design and technology for a variety of events.

Sponge was represented in the seminar room with Kate Nicholls, Learning Technology Designer of the Year who’s talk on 360 interactive video was streamed live on FaceBook to an international audience.

For an updated talk on the 360 interactive video case study be sure to attend Kate’s session at Learning Technologies 2017.

December – Xmas game

Our 2015 Christmas game highlighted some of the advances in learning game technology, built using the fully responsive Phaser HTML5 game engine.

Our 2016 Christmas game continues the theme of latest technology by using the new Articulate 360 elearning development suite.

Join us for our ‘Learning in 2017’ hangout, where we’ll be joined by L&D experts to pick out the hot learning topics and trends for the New Year.  What are your L&D priorities for 2017?