As we begin to recognize the wider impact of a global pandemic, the elearning localization strategy has never been more critical. Today’s learners need to be able to access content from anywhere at any time. By focusing on the three components of elearning—scheduling, stakeholders, and review—it’s possible to get newly localized content to market faster. This three-pronged strategy ensures that students, employees, and other learners can engage at even higher levels in virtual learning environments.
A Spike in Demand for eLearning
In February 2020, China’s elearning programs grew by $3.2 billion as students moved away from the classroom and into the virtual environment in response to the coronavirus. This change is not a temporary measure, either. It’s smart planning for the future. Students who discovered the convenience of elearning during their isolation may have found it superior to the physical learning environment, thereby driving increased demand in the future. And there are lessons to be learned for other kinds of elearning and training as well. Those who provide elearning platforms can capitalize on this by seeing how they can adapt their ideas to meet emerging needs in new markets.
Especially as elearning localization is particularly complex, early planning and strategizing is critical for sustained success and growth. And the stakes are high. If you’re a learning manager, then you know how critical employee buy-in is, as well as careful training that spans diverse locales.
The Three Components of an Elearning Localization Strategy
One of the crucial factors to remember in an elearning localization strategy is that it’s beginning to end. It’s not just about translating content and sending it out into the world. It’s about considering the entire process from an end user’s experience and making the best use of automation along the way. Are users going to be able to find the information they need with little effort? Is the platform going to default to their preferred language? Are tests and assessments going to be aligned to their specific region? All these are crucial parts of elearning that require consideration. Perfecting the process is about three components.
Deadlines must be based on total completion, including content translation, review, uploading, and navigation through an integrated portal for users. Using a period based merely on when content is translated leaves out a lot of crucial steps and results in a shortened, unrealistic timeline that leads to scope creep. The schedule must incorporate all the steps necessary to create an ideal user platform for the target market.
There must be a single point of contact for establishing the glossary and translation memory. Too many individuals adding their input will result in disparities and a difficult-to-follow lexicon. All stakeholders must be aligned to one single platform language to ensure the best possible results. And specific collaborators must also be assigned to update and maintain the translation memory, term bases, and other linguistic assets over time.
The quality control process involves having both the linguistic review and a review of the use of the platform itself. The quality of the content won’t matter if users can’t find it, and the platform’s main portal requires support from quality content. Reviewers must be in place for both of these components. It’s vital that this content review happens early, before the building of the actual site, to ensure that the user platform allows easy navigation to the media that exists and not an “under construction” landing page.
It’s important to accelerate the multimedia elearning localization strategy to meet sudden spikes in demand but not at the expense of the user experience. Focusing on scheduling, stakeholder, and review stages helps you to gain control of the task at hand and ensures that the entire localization process is simple and easy to follow. While there are always some errors expected in the beginning, an organized, intelligent approach will make the jump to new markets that much easier.
Bureau Works can help you expedite your elearning localization strategy to engage new markets with a better digital and multimedia experience. Contact our team to learn about how we can help you expand your learning platform and improve the whole process from end to end.
May 7, 2020