Localizing e-learning: what it is and why you need it

E-learning has become the primary channel for training new and existing staff. Even before COVID-19 expanded remote working, the adoption of e-learning across industries had accelerated. Since 2011, approximately 80% of employers have used e-learning.

What is e-learning localization?

Localization is a process that goes beyond text translation. Localization also deals with aspects of the presentation of information: layout, images and colors; cultural information relevant to the target audience; units of measurement; currencies; among others.

For e-learning, these considerations apply to a wide range of content types that may require localization (video, voiceover, interactive assessments, controls, and navigation). It is not enough to simply translate the readable text that users can see in their browsers. Good localization ensures that trainees in other parts of the world will have the same experience as the home audience.

What parts of the eLearning courseware require localization?

Depending on how you design your eLearning courseware, these features can be localized:

  • Text content
  • Voice off
  • Videos (voice or with subtitles or captions)
  • Interactions (quizzes, tests, simulations)
  • Software interface (navigation, index, tutorial controls, search function)

Which audiences will benefit from localizing eLearning courseware?

E-learning localization for enterprise users. At the corporate level, provide localized e-learning content to international staff to train them on new processes or what to expect during a reorganization, or to educate them on new IT requirements and regulations. Safety is essential to worker performance.

Localizing e-learning for frontline staff. For manufacturers and customer support personnel, localizing e-learning is essential because they require detailed training on new tools, safety procedures, material handling, or maintenance policies and processes. customer support.

Online learning location for students. If you work in academia, you know that online learning has become an essential learning environment for distance and in-person learning. Localization will be needed for tutorials, lesson plans, and course catalogs.

Online learning location for new hires. E-learning is an effective channel for providing new information to new recruits. Localize your online training to help new international employees feel supported and improve the effectiveness of your onboarding training related to benefits, codes of conduct, company policy and critical processes.

E-learning localization for compliance training. Compliance training is one of the most common applications of e-learning. It provides a standard, traceable platform to ensure everyone in an organization has completed training. Localization is critical as compliance requirements vary by region for legal purposes.

E-learning localization for resellers. Like compliance training, you need to ensure that resellers representing your organization and your products in international markets have up-to-date information about products and changes to warranties and service policies. Again, localization plays a vital role in ensuring local market requirements are translated completely and correctly and using the right information for the target market.

E-learning localization for product demonstrations. If you want international customers to know that you support their region and language, show them with a localized product demo.

What are the benefits of localizing e-learning?

By investing and taking the time to localize your e-learning courseware, you can expect a good return on your investment. Benefits include:

  • Greater user satisfaction. Users (be they students, employees or customers) will feel supported and appreciated if the online learning is in their native language.
  • Learn better. Learning in one’s mother tongue is more effective than relying on a second (or third) language to complete training. Retention will improve and the pace of learning will quicken.
  • Better market penetration. For the reasons listed above, creating localized online training for resellers and customer demos will result in better market access. The sale will be more effective and customers will be more receptive to your products.
  • Employee retention. By engaging in localizing e-learning, your employees’ job satisfaction and performance will improve. Both translate to better employee retention, which is critical in today’s job market where career mobility is higher than ever.

How to choose an online learning locator?

Localizing e-learning software is a complex process and requires a wide range of skills ranging from text translation, video voiceover, editing and proficiency with many different tools, such as the e-learning publishing software where your courses are hosted.

Depending on the e-learning publishing software you use, localization can be simple or very tedious. Not all eLearning authoring software supports localization well. Some tools make it easy to export all translatable text into a standard format that localizers can easily work with. Other authoring tools use proprietary formats that pose barriers to localization. Make sure your localization provider has demonstrable experience creating localized versions of tutorials in your preferred authoring software.

How much does e-learning localization cost?

An experienced e-learning locator will be able to provide you with a quote or at least an accurate estimate for locating your courseware.

These factors will affect the cost:

  • Number of languages ​​needed
  • Total number of translatable words
  • Number of repetitions in content
  • Number of multimedia resources (videos, audio, images)
  • Number of interactions
  • Number of tests and quality control needed for localized versions

If you have an online course that would benefit from localization, engage a localization partner early to guide you in choosing the authoring tool and design for a global audience, and help you identify relevant content for local audiences. international markets.

Norma A. Roth