How businesses succeed by using localized gamified e-learning content

The stratospheric increase in distance learning and training over the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue, and that growth is fuelling the gamification of more and more education and training content. Read on to find out all about the gamification of e-learning content, including tips and insights on localising content. 

Pic by Elizabeth Mcdaniel (Unsplash) “Pandemic-driven distance learning is likely to continue, with providers embracing e-learning localisation to achieve their objectives” 

Elearning gamification 

As the name suggests, this approach entails applying gaming tactics and formats to e-learning activities. It helps make e-learning much more immersive, accessible and enjoyable. Gamification leverages humans’ needs for socialising, competition, status attainment, and self-expression. The growing popularity of augmented reality and virtual reality is also feeding into the gamification trend. A great example of a gamified learning platform is the language-learning app Duolingo, which uses rewards, levels and quizzes to make the experience much more engaging than reading a textbook. 

Huge growth

A growing trend in an expanding market, gamified e-learning content is only going to become much more prevalent. In 2020, the global e-learning market’s revenue—covering corporate, academic and government content—was estimated to be US$250 billion. Buoyed by the rapid uptake of remote work and learning, that’s expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2027, according to a recent Global Market Insights report. That’s huge growth, and in the Asia Pacific that expansion is partly being driven by rising government investment, increased internet connectivity in developing markets, and the digitalisation transformation, including the adoption of cloud infrastructure.

Many companies are localising their gamified e-learning content, just as they do with their text and video e-learning content, so as to reach much wider audiences in a cost-efficient way.

What is localisation?

Pic by Maxime Lebrun (Unsplash) “By localising its China outlets, KFC workers felt valued and the content was tailored to the country’s cultural norms. Making a video for India but using a metaphor from an American rodeo? Consider producing content in a culturally neutral format instead

As well as being effective at increasing engagement, gamification also lends itself to localisation, which is the process whereby learning or training content is not just translated but comprehensively tailored for specific cultures and languages. 

Localisation encompasses much more than translating content. It is proven to better engage learners and consumers alike. Therefore, an e-learning localisation service is usually preferable to an e-learning translation service.

Why localise e-learning content?

Pic by Melissa Newkirk (Unsplash) “Making a video for India but using a metaphor from an American rodeo? Consider producing content in a culturally neutral format instead”

Localising your online training or e-learning content results in several benefits. 

Inclusive learning culture

Creating a cohesive corporate culture is highly challenging, even within offices located in the same country, let alone in different markets spread across the world. Localising your training content is an effective way to engage workers across borders, and effectively create an environment in which all employees feel valued. For example, if KFC didn’t localise the training content produced in its Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters for its 8,100 outlets in China, there would not only be a lot of confusion, the workers wouldn’t feel as valued as if the content had not only been translated but specifically tailored to the cultural norms in Mainland China. 

Enhances employee performance and boosts retention

Though English is de facto the language of business, most people that speak English outside the Anglophone world do so as a second language. This creates a barrier to engagement as people tend to learn best in their native tongue. As localised e-learning content is more engaging, it tends to be more effective, and employees that are invested in building their knowledge base and up-skilling are easier to retain.

It’s easier to implement

Self-directed e-learning is a smoother process when the instructions and content more generally are tailored to a specific environment. For example, there will be fewer misunderstandings and follow-up communications.  

Best practices 

Analyse current and future needs

The information and insights derived from clearly setting out what your needs are now and what they will likely be later on will help guide the vendor selection process. For example, if a training program that mainly encompasses online text and multiple choice questions will be expanded to include video content, then you’ll need a partner that will be able to handle that too. For example, if video content will be an important component of gamified e-learning content, look for a media localisation agency that is adept at multimedia localisation services.

Create a localisation strategy 

This forms a roadmap that determines what content will be localised, what languages and cultures it will cover, and when it will be rolled out. It covers the authoring tools that will be used, the vendor onboarding process, testing of localised content to check it is fit for purpose, down to the types of e-learning voice-over artists that will be used. 

Devise a quality control process

Poorly localised gamified e-learning content can have the opposite effect of increasing engagement. In the most extreme case, an incorrectly localised piece of content could cause offence, especially when it comes to sensitive topics. To prevent this from happening, check your e-learning localisation partner has a thorough localisation testing regime in place. Not all localisation testing services are made equal, so make sure the process is watertight.

Elearning localisation tips 

Focus on creating culturally neutral content

Localising gamified content that has a culturally specific format and lots of specific references, like an animated narrator that uses a long metaphor from the equestrian sport of rodeo, would be difficult to understand in a culture where the sport isn’t popular, such as in India. Therefore, producing original content in a culturally neutral format makes localisation easier.

Use the right tech

Check the compatibility of the authoring tools across the markets where the localisation will be deployed. For example, Articulate, ISpring Suite and Lessonist are popular in China, whereas Elucidat and Coassemble rank highly in Europe. 

Also, the mobile device is an increasingly important access tool, especially in developing markets where mobile penetration outpaces computer adoption and the rollout of broadband internet. Therefore, checking that the localised content will be readily accessible via the preferred access methods in a particular market is the optimal approach.

Find the right partner

Localising e-learning content is a complex undertaking, one that’s best undertaken by a partner that’s highly experienced not only in the subject area but the markets, languages and cultures that the content will be tailored for. 

Make room for expanded text

Mandarin is the most succinct written language, so creating the gamified e-learning original content in this language and then localising it for use in English in North America would require more text on the screen. Therefore, leave space to accommodate additional text when the content is first created. 

Localising gamified e-learning content is a highly effective way of engaging learners when done right.

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