E-learning: how to improve the learning experience | Stillman Translations
E-learning: how to improve the learning experience

Under the effects of pandemic lockdowns, e-learning has become the great new gateway to career development. For those who wish to expand their enrollment, tapping into e-learning is the way to go. But what are the tricks to creating the e-learning content that your target audience is looking for? With online courses multiplying by the second, differentiation and relevance are absolute keys to success.  

The e-learning boom  

Now more than ever, the possibility has become a reality. We can be trained by experts, teachers and professionals from anywhere in the world, from the comfort of our homes, thereby relocation or travel costs. Gone are the days of longing admiration of teachers in remote locations. We do not need to live in the hope that one day they will teach a seminar close to us. Nor punish ourselves for lacking the courage — or the funds — to move closer to them.  

Moreover, this is an opportunity for professionals, artists, thinkers, coaches and even universities or companies in general. The entire world has become fertile soil for them to spread the word about their courses and knowledge. If you have something to teach, you can now reach students across the world in a matter of seconds. And we mustn’t forget about the capacity to train employees in specific technologies, especially for companies with a multinational o multiregional workforce. 

According to a report by Global Market Insights, the e-learning market will grow to exceed an income of USD 376 billion by 2026. The research report covering 21 countries from all continents, and published in 2020, describes the market in 2019 as reaching a market size of USD 200 billion. The forecast, including the effects of the pandemic, estimates a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8% within the next six years. This report also mentions mobile learning, micro-learning, social learning and corporate MOOCs (massive open online courses) as the most important trends in revenue growth.  

Customization is an important part of e-learning  

Just as you would expect a classroom teacher to respond to your questions and adjust their explanations to your learning pace, the e-learning experience is more relevant, and thus more likely to be engaging, if the content has been customized to the learners. An analysis of your target audience and their specificities will be essential to accomplish customization.  

Developing e-learning content can be costly. In order to ensure results over investment, maximizing its reach and impact is key. But what’s the best way to reach your audience in a time when the entire world can be your audience? And more importantly, how can you create engaging courses that suit your audience’s interests?  

In this global village, your content could become just the knowledge someone needs in a surprising, far away location. This is why transcending the borders of the English language speaking community can become crucial to reaching a wider audience.  So what is the secret to creating learning experiences that can cross cultural borders without losing their unique touch? Localization, localization, localization. (Pun intended).  

Localization is the process through which, after translating the language in a course, the contents are adapted to the target culture. This effectively means replacing any reference to the source particular context and replacing it by one with a similar connotation in the target context. An interesting example is the understanding, in US healthcare, that fewer days in hospital equate to a faster healing and, therefore, a better service. In Europe, however, the opposite may be understood from the phrase “shorter hospital stay.” This is because there as context where hospital stays are generally longer, to ensure proper healing. In this type of case, the e-learning experts say, the solution is localization. 

The advantages of having a localization partner 

E-learning localization done right can be the difference between a scenario where your e-learning content creates a cross-cultural learning experience and one where it simply falls on deaf ears. This is why having a professional language services partner handle the strategy and the technicalities involved can make the process smoother and much more efficient. Not only preventing you from a headache, but — more importantly — ensuring ROI.  

Successful e-learning

study on the challenges, solutions and best practices of corporate e-learning has stated that, corporations that create successful e-learning create their content with translation and localization in mind from the very beginning. This allows them to have a “voice” in their courses that can truly adjust to different cultures and languages, while also saving time and reducing design costs. In the example regarding the notion of hospital stay, the content could be localized to a European learner by referring to “speeding up recovery by x%”, rather than focusing on the number of days spent in hospital. When an expert is involved from the start of the process, this type of adjustment to design, language and course dynamic will not become an obstacle in the process.   

Other advantages of hiring a specialist? A localization expert can manage your e-learning content in bulk, no matter the number of courses, pages or files involved, while keeping it tidy, coherent and technically efficient. They can create a strategy to ensure your multiple courses are properly adjusted to engage your target audience’s culture, not just by translating the words, but also by ensuring all layers of meaning are properly localized. 

Whether you are part of a healthcare center looking to train your staff or responsible for a University’s distance learning program, making your content effective for a global audience is the key to potential revenue growth. But in order to truly engage a global audience, professional localization services are essential. 

Why Stillman Translations? 

As a localization expert, Stillman Translations has the advantage of working with your content from an integral approach, using native-speaking translators and proofreaders to handle multiple language projects. We can create a strategy that is tailored to your needs, while keeping branding, regional knowledge and technical expertise as our top priorities.