Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 EDU: Invited article: How to Format Your eLearning for International Audiences

Invited article: How to Format Your eLearning 
for International Audiences
The potential audience for educators who can prepare eLearning material may be much larger than the size of a school or company.  Larger audiences mean larger income.  For widely needed instruction, the demand can be world-wide.  And eLearning travels easily.  But the content needs to travel easily also.

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How to Format Your eLearning for International audiences

By Sirena Rubinoff, Morningside Translations

More companies are starting to turn to eLearning solutions to train staff members and teach them new skills. Of the most profitable companies in the world, over 40% have already started using eLearning. This saves companies money, and it makes for training programs that are more adaptable to meet the changing conditions of the modern business world.

The adaptable, cost-effective nature of eLearning makes it particularly beneficial for companies that have a global workforce. With digital learning solutions that incorporate elearning translation, companies can build a globalized eLearning program that can work well for people that use different languages and come from different cultures.

For the best results, a globalized learning strategy needs to be planned from the beginning. In the following sections, we are going to cover some of the points that go into preparing eLearning resources for a global workforce.

Evaluate Content and Adaption

Before you can start building the eLearning program, you need to consider the types of content that you are going to create and the level of adaptation that is appropriate. To do this, you need to evaluate the goals and performance outcomes that you intend to achieve with the eLearning program. Consider the following questions as you do so:
  • Is the program going to be used to train new employees?
  • Will it instead improve the performance of existing team members? 
  • What are the specific skills that employees are expected to learn from the program?

Prepare for Globalization

Now that you have assessed the intentions of the program and the types of content that you will need, you can start planning your globalization strategy. To do this, you will need to learn about the requirements for your eLearning program and gain insights into the local markets in which the platform will be used.

One important consideration is language. With just 20% of the world speaking English, and only a fraction of that 20% being native speakers, you are going to need to plan to translate the content into the languages of your workforce.

Along with language, you will need to consider cultural differences. Content that might be culturally appropriate and effective for an English-speaking audience may not work well in other countries and for different cultures. Just as with English, other languages incorporate subtleties and nuances that are a reflection of the native culture.

Additionally, you will need to consider any technical limitations that may exist in the regions where individuals may train. Some areas might have limited bandwidth or there could be issues with the types of devices that are used in specific regions.

Create Content That is Ready for Globalization

With your background research complete, you can start creating the base content that will be used for the eLearning program. The primary goal in this step is to create content that can be easily translated into other languages and adapted for different cultures.

To create global-ready content, one of the most important points is to write in simple and straightforward terms. Avoid using references that are culturally specific, and use flexible design elements that can be easily adapted for different text orientations and character sets.

With video eLearning growing in popularity, you will also need to consider making programs for both audio and video. Preplanning video content for easy translation can significantly cut the cost and time it takes to convert the content for different markets.

At this point, you should have an eLearning program that is ready for globalization. With the base content already developed, this is where you would partner with a professional translation service to start converting the content for different languages and cultures. Before the translation process starts, it is recommended that you consult with your LSP to determine goals and standards for each adapted training program.



  • Original text in this blog is CC By: unless specified public domain
  • Use as you please with attribution: link to the original.
  • All images without attribution in this blog are CC0: public domain.

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