Localized and blended: How to build eLearning courses everyone can enjoy

How to build courses everyone can enjoy featured image

Your goal is to make eLearning content that as many people as possible can benefit from, in order to ensure compliance and change behaviors—and the organization at large—for the better. However, in a global organization, your people may well encounter several barriers to accessing and benefiting from learning content. From the language content is written in, to how and where content is delivered, your eLearning authoring tool should help you overcome any issue. Discover how in this article.

Make sure courses are appropriate for global learners

If you’ve ever visited a different country and were faced with a language barrier—or other cultural nuances you didn’t understand—you know how challenging this can be. Now imagine you’re dealing with those things while also trying to learn a new skill. It’s not very conducive to engaging with or retaining the information! It’s important to overcome this barrier and make sure you’re offering learning content that’s appropriate and welcoming for global learners.

Translation for a wide variety of languages

With the right authoring tool, translating your learning content isn’t as difficult as you might think. There’s a format called XLIFF which is a common standard for easily exchanging multilingual content with translators. Top authoring tools like Gomo use this format to handle the import and export of translation. In Gomo specifically, this can be done in over 150 languages and is as simple as:

  • Designing and delivering the course in an initial ‘master’ language
  • Setting up additional languages you want the course to be translated into and exporting their respective XLIFF files
  • Getting the files translated and re-importing them into the tool

You can read more about this process in Gomo’s ebook:

'XLIFF: Everything you need to know to create multi-language eLearning'

Localize it!

Delivering content to your global learners can be a fun process. You get to learn more about different cultures and personalize the content to fit—a key component of keeping people engaged. Consider these other ways to localize your learning content, beyond simple language translation:

  • Use photography, visuals, and other media based on the specific region learners are in. For example, an EMEA employee may not feel included if the only imagery or media they see is of a North American office and stock photos of workers across the US. This could lead them to disengage from the learning content or feel as though they’re not represented. 
  • Be mindful of the design/landscape in public spaces. The architecture in London is vastly different than that of Bogota, Colombia, for example. Colors, fonts, and markings of road signs can all signal to a person that the place they’re looking is halfway around the world.
  • Pay attention to gestures. Even details as small as gestures that are commonplace and non-offensive in your culture may be offensive in other areas of the world. You should therefore be mindful when using stock imagery. We recommend working with someone in the region you’re designing content for to uncover subtle details like this.

Pro-tip for language translations

Languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Urdu, are read from right to left. Be mindful when designing content in these languages as you’ll want to stick to UX/UI standards and make it as easy to engage with as possible.

Revisit your blended learning approach

As businesses have started rolling out a hybrid approach to work (in-person and remote), you need to be prepared to create and deliver a blended learning experience. This level of personalization can keep learners engaged and meet them where they are, from wherever they are.

Microlearning for all

Whether you’re delivering learning to an in-person staff or those working from home, microlearning is essential. We’re all stretched for time these days and often can’t (or won’t) fit learning into our schedules. Microlearning is a great addition to any blended learning program as it offers something for everyone and is a quick win for content authors.

It’s also important to remember that we’re all going through a period of transition—and things will likely continue to shift and change in our daily lives. That’s another reason microlearning is key to the success of your learners. These bite-sized chunks of content can greatly reduce the need for a massive time commitment while also helping people access timely learning content when they need it.

Encourage user-generated content

Who better to train folks than the people who work alongside them? The great thing about a cloud-based authoring tool is that you can have multiple people working in it at the same time. This allows for a broad group of individuals to author learning content—from subject matter experts to senior team members and everyone in between. And, it offers a new perspective that L&D teams might not have. 

A great place to encourage user-generated content is in onboarding content for remote workers. Someone with more experience at your company will understand the nuances of everyday life while working from home. Plus, this approach can add more personality to your learning content.

Assess whether it all works

It’s important to measure the impact of the training you create and map that to real impact in your business. At the very least, your assessments will show whether learners are taking away the right ideas. You may also look to feedback forms or more advanced measurements (including fine-detail insights via xAPI). Having these insights makes it easier to adapt your learning to fit the needs of everyone in your organization. With a blended learning approach, you’ll need to account for in-person as well as those working from home.

Consider that every person will have unique needs and they may even have a different setup at home than they do in the office. Your assessments can provide critical information on how, when, and why your employees engage with the learning you deliver—or, why they don’t!

Continue learning how to revitalize your approach to learning content. Download the full guide, ‘5 ways to supercharge your company’s eLearning culture’:

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