Elearning localization: How to connect your LMS with a TMS


You’ve spent a lot of time analyzing, selecting, implementing and populating a learning management system (LMS). The next step – localizing your elearning and training materials for multilingual audiences – can potentially be one of the most complex and time-consuming phases you’ll encounter.

There are many moving pieces to keep track of when localizing elearning with highly varied elements such as text, embedded graphics, flash animations, PowerPoint presentations, voiceovers, software and web-based applications. And, each individual course module will require different combinations of file types.

Fast track to elearning localization: Integrating your LMS with a TMS

When considering whether to team-up with a global content lifecycle partner for your elearning localization, make sure they offer a technologically advanced, automated solution that can handle your online training content. Enabling a connector between your LMS and a Translation Management System (TMS) gives you access to a cloud-based, fully scalable solution facilitating a seamless content workflow. Such a bridge will save time, rein in costs and speed up the localization of your training content for learners around the world.

Wondering how this can help you train your global workforce faster and more effectively?

Here are the top five advantages of integrating your LMS with a TMS:

1. Cloud-based translation centralization for all your multilingual content

From technical writers to translators and proofreaders, all approved users with the proper credentials have 24/7 access to the content interface. Everything happens in an asynchronous environment, so the different team members don’t have to coordinate their schedules to take action on the next steps.

Instead of having to juggle two separate systems for elearning content creation and localization, a cloud-based interface allows you to control, track and manage your global content without ever leaving your already familiar LMS environment. You can also switch between the two views – your LMS content and the TMS – almost instantly, giving you complete access to all information on both ends.

For example, from within your LMS you might create and upload a new course module for translation. The file would be accessible on the TMS within moments and stored within the content library. Next, the translatable components can be extracted, and work carried out by the translators, editors and proofreaders can continue. In this way, a centralized workbench for all your global content, powered by automatic processes saves you time, freeing you up for other important business matters.

2. Simply plug in and go: no need to reconfigure your existing LMS

Why make your entire undertaking more complicated and expensive by reengineering your existing LMS? Your global content partner should be able to build an elearning translation connector that speaks the same language as your LMS, allowing for a seamless exchange of information between the LMS and TMS. The software solution should be easy to use and deliver results right away.

Make sure the content connector you choose to implement features a highly intuitive interface that’s as easy to use as your LMS. The whole point is to make your LMS less complicated; integration helps you achieve this. 

Not every vendor has the experience and technical knowledge required to create a customized integration that plugs directly into your existing LMS, whether proprietary or open source. Make sure you question your potential partner about their capabilities and previously accomplished elearning integration projects – and voice your need for a turnkey solution.

3. Lower costs with a dynamic elearning content ecosystem that expands as your training needs evolve

Maybe your elearning localization project comprises two online courses and four different multimedia file types, requiring translation into two languages. However, a year from now, the scope and size of your training program could triple.

Automation allows you to complete more translation projects in a faster timeframe, since it eliminates all the busy work, administrative costs and manual operations that would otherwise be involved. It will also let you expand your course translation initiatives as much as needed, without adding on extra costs; in fact, the system’s efficiency actually increases in correlation to the amount of content you add!

Without an integrated solution, the more complex learning and development files you need localized, the more time, effort and money you will doubtless spend in the coordination and execution of all your translation tasks.

4. Real-time view of your elearning translation projects, quality measures and operational efficiency

You gain full transparency into all of your workflows through integration. As users meet different milestones in line with the project’s progression, the TMS shows and tracks this activity – so you can see every course’s status at a glance.

The selected TMS should also be able to generate data reports on demand, giving you the advantage of total business intelligence. From tracking the stage of your translation to generating reports that identify quality concerns, a unified interface allows for complete visibility into all aspects of your multilingual elearning.

5. Quicker time-to-market with automation paired with translation memory

Large volumes of data can be fed into your LMS, then programmatically segmented, translated and sent back to the LMS without requiring you to manually initiate each phase, using translation memory technologies. This means no manual uploading of files at each stage of translation, no emailing back and forth between systems as the project progresses.

It also reduces the potential for human error, since there are fewer manual changes and inputs to the data. Assuming your content services partner provides a repository for your translation memory and you have completed some prior projects, your previously translated segments can automatically be applied to subsequent translations. And as a result, reducing the time and cost involved with localizing your learning content even further.

‘A’ for automation: An effective way to streamline global elearning creation

Just like the process of learning itself, elearning and training content is by nature incredibly complex and dynamic. Taking on the elearning localization workflow yourself – step by step – can waste time, money and other valuable resources that could be used creating your next course.

Add that to the potential for human error, and you already have more than one good reason for linking your LMS with a reputable TMS. 

Hopefully, these top five advantages of integrating your LMS with a TMS have equipped you with the knowledge needed to get your global workforce up to speed.

For more tips on optimizing your elearning localization strategy, check our blog: How to create an effective elearning localization strategy