5 podcasts every e-learning professional should listen to

…or should that be “to which every e-learning professional should listen”? Never mind, I can end a sentence with a preposition if I want to.

Arcane grammar jokes aside, I’m a late bloomer to podcasts. While everyone else was apparently obsessed with them, they never really appealed to me until I starting taking long trips on the bus. Now I’m hooked.

As many of my peers will attest, there’s no shortage of podcasts directed to the L&D practitioner. In fact, the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming.

If like me you’re just getting started with podcasts, or perhaps you’re looking for another one to add to your subscription, I hereby offer you 5 of my favourites.

A mobile phone with earphones

1. Learning Uncut

Produced by three of the best in the business – namely, Michelle Ockers, Karen Maloney and Amanda Ashby – Learning Uncut recently celebrated its first birthday.

Over the course of the past year, Michelle and Karen have interviewed an impressive cross-section of experts in my corner of the globe. The episode featuring Nic Barry is a standout.

2. The Learning & Development Podcast

A new comer to the podcasting scene, The Learning & Development Podcast is hosted by David James.

David’s view of our profession largely mirrors my own (hence he is a genius) and I consider his interview with Simon Gibson a must-hear.

3. Learning is the New Working

Given his experience as Microsoft’s Chief Learning Officer, Chris Pirie’s Learning is the New Working is well worth a listen.

Chris reaches out to people around the world whom I haven’t heard of before (to be perfectly honest) which is welcome because they diversify my feed.

4. The eLearning Coach Podcast

No self-respecting e-learning professional would fail to devour Connie Malamed’s The eLearning Coach blog, which she complements admirably with The eLearning Coach Podcast.

What I love about Connie’s expertise is her focus on practicality. Thought leadership is great and all, but how do we apply it to our work?

5. Hardcore History

While educational, Hardcore History isn’t about education. I include it in my list of faves however because it flies in the face of contemporary notions of instructional design.

Each episode spans several hours and frankly I could listen to Dan Carlin talk all day. Despite the hoopla over micro-learning (which, for the record, I advocate) clearly one size does not fit all.

My point is it’s healthy for we professionals to continually re-assess our own philosophies by appreciating contrarian approaches – especially those that are raging success stories!

Light bulb

If you’d like more ideas for what an e-learning professional should do, check out the following blog posts by yours truly:

And these by my friend Matt Guyan:

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11 Comments on “5 podcasts every e-learning professional should listen to”

  1. Arun Says:

    Brilliant list, only is also include good practice

  2. Ryan Tracey Says:

    Thanks for the addition, Arun!

  3. iangardnergb Says:

    Thanks, a few I’d not heard of there. Will add to my old list that was shared around Twitter and elsewhere a while back (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LXPFcVqHAZKYgkzSUAtFHFzmq-omNY04YheOWf4FTUE/edit?usp=sharing).

  4. Ryan Tracey Says:

    Thanks for sharing your list, Ian :)

  5. Ken Clark Says:

    Thanks, Ryan! Keep the recommendations coming. I’m listening to Learning is the New Working right now.

  6. Ryan Tracey Says:

    Cheers Ken. I particularly enjoyed the episode featuring Sanchita Sur.


  7. Hmmm. Should listen to. Whilst I enjoy the occasional podcast on an occasional long commute, it’s mostly just that … I enjoy them. The context in which I use them doesn’t tend to lend itself to retention of the content (through notes etc) so I wonder about the value of them as a learning mode as they seem prone to Ebbinghaus’ curve. Any thoughts on how to improve this?

  8. Ryan Tracey Says:

    “Should”… yes, please forgive my presumption Neil. There’s no room for wallflowers in the blogosphere ;)

    Like you, I enjoy other podcasts simply for their entertainment value. Nerdy entertainment value, to be sure, but nothing I expect to memorise.

    Having said that, even with the work related ones I don’t intend to remember their content as per a lecture. Instead I like to listen to them to validate my current thinking (tbh) and to stimulate new ideas.

    As I mentioned in the OP, I’m a late bloomer to podcasts and I couldn’t understand their ubiquitous appeal. Having tried a few now, however, I’m pleasantly surprised by their quality. Of course one must be discerning and taste features in the equation – for example, I don’t happen to enjoy the incredibly popular podcast about a certain father’s literary pastime – but imo the good ones are *very* good.

    To answer your question on how to improve the retention of podcast content, perhaps we can heed the advice of the old preacher: tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them. Might that help?


  9. Their appeal is intriguing. My father-in-law still reminisces about listening to weekly release serial radio shows as a child (and we have the cabinet into which he carved a rocket whilst listening to Buck Rogers!) so the format is not new (but may be to the current generation I guess).

    As for retention, the preacher seems to know his Ebbinghaus, but that’s an unlikely format for a podcast and I think the effort will need to be made by the listener rather than the presenter. I just don’t hear ANYONE talking about making that effort (as in talking about what they do, rather than what they could do!), but I hear EVERYONE (well, that may be a tad hyperbolic) talking about podcasts.

  10. Murad Says:

    Great list, I must say!

  11. Ryan Tracey Says:

    Thanks Murad :)


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