2017: What a year!


Before Christmas gets into full swing and we get inevitably swept up in turkey sandwiches and Indiana Jones re-runs, we wanted to reflect on 2017. We see reflection as one of the key tools to help embed learning, so it can’t be said that we don’t practice what we preach. 😉

In the summer of 2016, Candle Digital was little more than an idea both Mark and I had over a fish and chip lunch at the Tetley Brewery in Leeds (how more northern can you get…).

We’ve come a long way since, particularly when we think some of the projects we’ve delivered this year, including:

  • Helping a high-profile Non-Executive Director member organisation in Manchester strategise the next step in their elearning products
  • Developing an Online Academy platform for a leadership and management training business, who are now delivering their elearning products into public and private organisations across the UK
  • Technical improvements on a platform currently helping thousands of university students with their career choices
  • Creation of a resilience and wellbeing elearning programme for both employees and managers for a leading training organisation in West Yorkshire
  • Bespoke work on a tutor marking mechanism and accreditation plug-in for an online training provider
  • Technical development work for an online teacher-training organisation
  • Co-creating a set of courses to train NHS staff in patient and public engagement

We’re really proud of how we’ve helped several organisations explore the potential in digital learning this year.

Of course we’ve learned heaps along the way:

There are heaps of people out there that want to help your business succeed.

You just have to get out there and meet them, and not be afraid of asking for help. We’ve been lucky enough to tap into the expertise of some great business mentors who have helped us identify our blind-spots and swerve around some potential holes!

You never know where a conversation could lead to.

Some of our most exciting work this year started with the simple offer of a cappuccino in a shopping centre. Give more than you get, and people tend to remember you.

You can’t do everything.

Outsource where it makes sense to do so, it’ll make your business go faster. And maintain focus, try not to get distracted by every opportunity that pops up.

Online learning has huge untapped potential for business.

We always thought this of course given what we do (!) but this year we realised that with the right guidance, most organisations could use elearning to share (and monetise) their expertise.

Recently we’ve stumbled on several things we just have to share:

  • We’ve not seen a better example of learner marketing than this immersive experience from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. Challenging and involved, with the viral aspect built into its very core.
  • 23 Things – An excellent Open Educational Resource from the University of Edinburgh to improve digital literacy
  • Working with Jigsaw. Just because
  • Wonder what the future may look like with augmented reality? A rather dystopian example here.
  • The Battle for the Future of Learning” – an excellent article by Nick Shackleton-Jones outlining some of the key strands in digital learning right now

We’re particularly excited to see what 2018 brings.

In the wider elearning industry, we’re interested to see how the move towards curated content plays out. We think this is a smart way to provide relevant and timely content to support development without some of the headaches of creating your own materials. We’ll also be keeping a keen eye on on-the-job support resources. We don’t think ‘training’ is always the answer, especially when people just want to get stuff done right then and there.

For us, we’re looking forward to re-locating to Halifax and being part of the University Business Centre, next to the Piece Hall. Expect to see more eLearning Network events in Leeds and Manchester. We’re already working on some great projects with partners old and new, including the development of more group-based learning experiences, so exciting times ahead!

Have a wonderful Christmas and new year, and see you in 2018!

Andy Jack

Andy Jack

Andy loves helping subject experts, authors, speakers, coaches and key persons of influence to monetise their expertise with online learning. When not on his laptop, he'll usually be found up a mountain!

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