There’s no question: elearning is a vital part of any company’s training and talent development programs. Especially for global companies, with teams spread across different offices and locations, the convenience of online classes make them the preferred and most effective training method in regards to saving valuable time, money, and energy.
However, when it comes to making elearning accessible for all, are you ready for the language and technology challenges that may arise? An effective elearning localization strategy is essential to provide all users the same engaging training experience.
We’ve worked alongside many companies developing elearning material for internal training and specializing in elearning development, so we know this is no easy task.
Here are six effective elearning localization strategies that can help any organization go global and keep your elearning engaging in any language.
1. Be aware of content expansion
When designing a multilingual elearning course, be aware of future requirements for translation. Make sure your source content has room for expansion. Depending on the language, localized text can expand 20 to 50 percent in length.
2. Include all source process information
Sharing process information from the source creation such as screen shooting scripts and asset maps can be very useful to the localization effort. This helps reduce the process design time and minimizes the issues met during engineering.
3. Make source versions available
The assets used to compile the final versions of the source courses should also be made available. Often, elearning technologies have two components, editable and published versions. If the editable version is not available, the source may need to be rebuilt before translation starts.
4. Centralize repeated elements and terminology
Often in elearning content, elements will repeat on each page, (for example: the “Next” and “Previous” buttons). Merge all these repeated elements in a common repository or page template so they only need to be replaced once during the elearning localization process. This way you’ll avoid inconsistency and delays in your process.
5. Be aware of cultural specificities
Cultural relevance is also important. If the elearning content is not culturally neutral or was even designed for a specific audience, it needs to be adjusted to the reality of its localized versions. For example, replacing images of road signs from the United States for the correspondent signs in each country.
6. Use a localization friendly environment
There are many ‘off the shelf’ elearning development products available on the market today which ensure that the source course is designed with localization in mind. Products such as Articulate and Captivate enable the separation of content from presentation and easily import/export linguistic assets from the development environment. This ensures a standard process can be followed for localization while also assisting in minimizing the manual extraction and import of translatable content.
These six tips are key to ensure your online training is ready to reach your global audiences! For more information, check our elearning localization page or reach out to our elearning experts directly. Before you know it, you’ll have a smooth elearning localization process that speaks the same language as your end users.