eLearning courses fit perfectly in today’s modern world and in comparison to traditional learning, eLearning has substantial benefits to both learners and employers. Students who take online courses have graduation rates that are 9% to 21% higher than students in a traditional education setting. Further, the use of eLearning for companies shows that when employees take eLearning training their retention rates increased by 25% to 65%. It’s apparent that eLearning has become an essential way of continuing education and skills in the 21st century but like all technology, to stay relevant and successful, eLearning courses and platforms need to be updated regularly.
eLearning content needs to stay up to date to stay relevant, this includes not only technological features but context and tone as well. Dated aesthetics or content won’t hold the attention of a young learner and to make a course successful they need to be catered to the modern generation.
In 2017, Adobe announced that it would stop supporting flash with a phase-out that started in 2020. The majority of eLearning courses in the early and mid-2000s were once built with Flash but now HTML5 is generally the standard used in many eLearning courses which also makes courses mobile friendly. The best eLearning platforms made this transition as soon as possible and the companies that missed out on updating their eLearning software found themselves with courses that their learners could no longer use.
If you’re overdue for a revamp of your eLearning courses here are six areas to look into when updating your courses.
It may not seem like much, but visuals play a huge part in the success and retention of a course. If your course looks like something that should still be on dial-up you aren’t going to gain the attention of any modern learner.
Take a look at your images and be sure that they represent your market audience in a modern way, that includes where the photos are located and what’s in them. For example, if you have a picture of a workplace and the people in the photos are sporting 90s attire and are using massive old school computers, you’ll want to give that a modern makeover. This also means having a look at your templates and designs up to date, so if your design has a MySpace feel, it’s time for an overhaul. This also applies to eLearning localization, if you are updating your courses to expand globally make sure that the content you update with is relevant to the localized audience, that your eLearning voiceovers match the dialect and accent, and that your eLearning translations are done by professional business translation services.
With that, evaluate your templates and get them back to basics with a clean and simple look and feel that will give them a more modern and timeless feel.
If your course uses the same font throughout and follows the same format of plain content with a recap, it’s time to shake it up. Ditch the lists and bullet points and start including charts, graphs, and infographics. Infographics are especially useful for summaries as they are visually appealing and easy to read which increases retention.
Updating your old courses doesn’t mean you have to get rid of them, you can repurpose them into a microlearning library by breaking down the course into smaller sessions. This creates a microlearning library that allows access to concise content that is very accessible to learners. Microlearning libraries allow learners to jump in and quickly get the exact information they need with little hassle.
When eLearning first kicked off most of the content on it was rather static and often consisted of the information, usually laid out in short paragraphs and bullet points, then followed by some sort of standard assessment. Since then, technology has broadened to allow for the creation of highly dynamic and interactive content. Ditch the multiple-choice for a simulation, make use of videos and create exams and content that allow learners to immerse themselves with the content, and give them opportunities to practice what they’re learning.
Find ways to connect your learners outside of their courses with the use of social media. Not only does it create a community but it offers continued means for your learners to expand on their knowledge, as well as create and collaborate. It ensures that your learners have a space to ask questions and foster new ideas. This is also really important if you have learners from around the world as it’s a great way to bring people together.
Are your courses entertaining? If you’re not entertained by the content, then chances are your learners won’t be either. Creating an enjoyable course experience is one of the best ways to ensure course success and knowledge attainment. Try to avoid using too much text and don’t shy away from humour by adding images, memes, a joke, or even a comic strip. Something that will break up the course and make your content more memorable. This is especially important if your target audience is a younger crowd. Just ensure that if you are localising your eLearning platform that you use media localization as not all graphics, memes, and jokes translate over to other languages and cultures. This is why it’s important to use eLearning localization services to make sure your courses reach your learners the way they’re meant to, no matter where they are in the world.
Need help taking your eLearning platform global? Into23 has all your global translation solutions with high quality translation services and multimedia localization services by certified legal translators. Contact into23 today for a free quote to get started.
When it comes to eLearning localization here’s what you need to know to get it right.
eLearning has become an important part of many people’s lives, especially since the pandemic. eLearning platforms have become increasingly popular as a means of acquiring new skills, knowledge, and certifications from anywhere in the world. This global appeal means that if you want to make your eLearning platform international, certain factors need to be considered when translating and converting your courses successfully into other languages.
eLearning localization is more than just a direct translation of words, it’s about transforming your courses and platform so that everything about it suits your target audience in terms of their language, social constructs, and culture. eLearning localization helps bridge cultural differences in your courses while helping students acquire and retain knowledge more efficiently and effectively.
Unlike document translation, there is a lot to consider when localizing your eLearning platform. Here are some major aspects that should be addressed,
Often an afterthought, the need for localization should be identified and planned right from the creation stages as pre-planning makes the localization process run a lot more smoothly.
When creating your eLearning courses, here are a few ways to make them more localization-friendly,
It is essential to know the audience you are seeking to reach in every area that you want to localize in. Researching is required to learn about a region’s language nuances, cultural preferences, tone and even spelling variations. This can affect everything from colour and image choices, your selection of eLearning voice-overs, and how you approach culturally sensitive topics. Hiring eLearning localization services is an easy way to ensure you nail this step.
As each language is unique, one of the major features you need to pay attention to when localizing is the expansion and contraction that occurs when transcribing certain languages. This is important because it can affect the general layout of your course and its graphical elements.
This is especially important when translating Chinese Mandarin to English as text may contract by up to 20-50%! The opposite happens when, say, you want to translate from German to English the text expands anywhere from 10-30%. If you have audio and video content these issues also apply. So be sure to consider this when putting together your courses.
While some symbols and images are universally understood some may need to be reworked for successful media localization. Items that often get missed include navigation buttons, speech bubbles, and progress bars, animations, and colour selections. Take a look at the colour white, for example, and how differently it is viewed depending on the culture. In the West, the colour white can signify purity and cleanliness but in many Asian countries, the colour white can be associated with death and bad omens. These seemingly small aspects can be the defining features that draw the line between a successfully localized eLearning platform and one that is not.
eLearning translation is sometimes the easiest part of a localization strategy but one of the defining features of localization is that it needs to be all-encompassing to reach the native audience of an area. Design features and choices need to be considered when building eLearning courses. For example, say your original course video was created for the UK market and you’ve translated all the text and audio content for the Latin American market, however, the video graphics remain unchanged. Say in the video a man snaps his fingers as he recollects something. If you plan to deliver this content in Latin America you might end up with a few confused learners as the gesture of snapping one’s fingers in Latin America is a way of asking someone to hurry up.
Design features also include the user interface and the choice of colours and fonts as previously mentioned. Failure to consider these items will lead to ineffective and easily misinterpreted course content.
If you want things to move fast and smoothly in the translation process, be sure that all of your eLearning content is in appropriate editing formats and source files. This includes videos, images, audio, presentations etc. This helps avoid the need to start anything from scratch which saves not only time but also money.
If each of these steps feels overwhelming, it’s because you need the best translation services company for a partner that can walk you through this process. Don’t sell your elearning translation content short, get help from qualified localization companies, like Into23.
The eLearning industry is projected to be worth 181 million USD by the end of 2025, with an annual growth rate of 12.26% per year. Driven by the widespread adoption of eLearning platforms by educational institutions and employers around the world, as well as the increased popularity of online course providers, eLearning made the jump from supplementary service to primary platform in 2020.
The industry has continued to grow in 2021, as workplaces expand their online skills training platforms and commercial eLearning providers more effectively engage their users with gamified app experiences, data driven personalized services, advanced modules, microlearning (short bursts of platform access) and content optimization, including the use of audio and video.
The expansion of the eLearning market drives service providers to offer their programs in multiple markets to reach new audiences, which requires the use of eLearning translation services and website localization. The pace of development in the industry has resulted in increasingly complex platforms with more content, which makes effective translation and software localization challenging, considering the scale and scope of material to adapt.
Machine translation services are ineffective in this context, considering the nature of the application. eLearning translation not only requires attention to detail, but also an extensive level of quality assessment in order to ensure that course materials effectively engage users. Linguistic QA specialists can identify and evaluate the lexical and grammatical options which make the difference between efficient progress through course modules and ambiguity that can challenge users’ patience.
eLearning platform design in any language carries inherent cultural connotations. Everything from curriculum planning to content and the layout and user interface has a culturally specific context in the original language and culture that the module is developed for. This comprises the source language and content. There are six elements which make all the difference between successfully adapting to different cultures and lessons ending up lost in translation.
Text is the simplest but most important aspect of eLearning translation and software localization. Opting for simple machine translation is unlikely to provide accuracy, and while machine translation with post-editing ensures a level of quality and consistency, it does not provide a framework for cultural context and therefore has limited scope for localization.
Cultural context often accounts for variations within same language. For example, people from Hong Kong use an English transliteration for the word strawberry, (士多啤梨) while in other regions it is translated as 草莓.
While Cantonese is spoken in Malaysia, local lexical variations arise from from Hokkien, Hakka and Malay influences, which contribute loanwords like 撩 (play) which in Hong Kong is written 玩. There are also considerable variations in pronunciation.
For eLearning platforms, the most efficient translation and localization solution when faced with cultural variations within a single language is to identify the most important market and develop the eLearning translation accordingly.
It is important to consider which language to use for localization in Asia: most content localized for the Malaysia market is in English. However, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Mandarin are widely used in Asia.
While there is considerable regional variation in Chinese language usage, the cost effective approach is to develop eLearning translation and localization for the most important market. Articulate Rise is a widely used course authoring tool for eLearning platform developers. Rise 360 is well suited to text-heavy courses, which can be challenging to translate into multiple languages. We can quickly and efficiently process translation and localization for all courses designed with Articulate Rise.
Multimedia localization in particular requires a solid understanding of regional and cultural context in the target market, in order for audio and video content to effectively supplement the text. Articulate Storyline is a streamlined multimedia content solution for eLearning platforms, and we can effectively process and translate all assets from Storyline 360 projects.
Localizing the text provides a basis for the eLearning voice over, which should also be developed for the most important market.
Planning, developing and organizing a workflow for high quality translation of text, video and audio between completely different languages requires expertise and experience with providing localization and translation services.
Visual content in images and video should also be assessed for cultural relevance. While American Football imagery effectively conveys concepts to North American audiences and translates reasonably well in Europe, it may distract Asian learners who are less familiar with the sport and might not intuitively grasp concepts illustrated with quarterbacks and goalposts. Sports like soccer and tennis are more culturally neutral and help make content more easily localized across markets.
Image and text elements should also be maintained separately, in order to avoid difficulties with translating and localizing images with text. Videos should ideally have captions set up as distinct elements in order to streamline translated versions. The design language for video caption and user interfaces should ideally provide a degree of flexibility, because colours have different associations in different regions and cultures.
For example, the colour red indicates passion in Western cultures, while it is associated with prosperity and luck in Asian cultures. In South Asia, the colour the colour orange is associated with the Hindu religion, while in the Middle East, green is associated with Islam. Streamlining colour configuration settings makes for an efficient eLearning localization strategy. Designing elements with flexibility and configurability in mind is an important step for eLearning platforms to take so that they can effectively translate their content for different markets with software localization services and expert translation services. Another efficient approach is to opt for culturally neutral design elements in order to effectively serve a wider eLearning audience.
eLearning translation and eLearning localization go hand in hand. Unlike legal language translation services, culture cannot be separated from language in an educational context. While marketing transcreation is an essential aspect of adapting an advertising strategy which would certainly enhance eLearning platforms, the scale of eLearning projects are generally best served by cost-effective localization and multilingual translation services with specialized eLearning voice over carried out by experienced professional translators who can optimize your platform and efficiently scale the reach of your services while ensuring they are effective for every user.
Into23 provides comprehensive eLearning and localization services with unmatched quality, speed and value in Asia. Our translation system supports Articulate Storyline and Articulate Rise content, which streamlines the setup of translated and localized courses. We can deliver a complete portfolio of course translations in any number of languages you require, including all audio and video content, in one go. Our clients never have to worry about keeping track of 25 different translations and coordinating launch dates. In Hong Kong’s English to Chinese translation services market, attention to detail and appreciation of cultural context is key to effectively serving markets.
Our experience in the region, global partnership networks and passion for language and culture enable us to develop effective solutions tailored to the scale of your project.