How to tackle technical e-learning issues
E-learning is growing into one of the most popular technologies for businesses aiming to deliver education to people from across the globe.
Many companies are now using e-learning to upskill their workers without having to deal with expensive transport costs, but there are many other barriers that need to be properly considered, most notably translation and cultural adaptation.
To properly engage audiences from different countries, businesses need to introduce expert translation services, to maximise the benefits of a global e-learning programme.
As well as the task of translating materials, it is crucial that companies are aware of the technical issues that come with international e-learning, or their plans to educate workforces across the world may be unsuccessful.
How important is translation in the corporate training market?
The corporate training market has lagged behind other education-based sectors, but a study from Docebo has highlighted growth in the sector in recent years.
“E-Learning is not merely a solution which is attractive during an economic downturn, but also an efficient and cost-effective solution when workers – especially those in organisations with a widely geographically distributed workforce – need to be brought up-to-speed quickly on relevant knowledge and skills,” Docebo’s study read.
The research also highlighted that compliance training is an area where e-learning is most widely adopted by companies, reflecting the trends we discussed in our recent article.
What are the technical limitations for international e-learning?
However, while the industry is growing, there are a number of technical barriers stopping companies from providing excellent e-learning services. When delivering training to other countries, it is important that businesses consider these technical limitations across the globe.
Findings from the 2012 International Conference on e-Learning have addressed some of the issues that come with translation, including the importance of understanding what companies need to accomplish in order to translate their communications effectively.
“The new business processes require new tasks to be performed and new skills to be acquired. Translators’ relation to documents has also changed, since documents are most often experienced through the filter of computer-assisted translation,” the study read.
This “computer-assisted translation” relates to any materials translated through specialist software, used to create resources ranging from video tutorials to e-books. For these materials, companies need to ensure that their translation services are as efficient as possible, or they could risk diluting key messages.
Any mistakes in translation could lead to entire workforces misunderstanding key concepts, which is why it is so crucial that companies choose specialist translation services that ensure efficient communication and, preferably, work with the client to establish a “translation memory” of approved terminologies across all target languages.
The study goes on to highlight how human translation skills must be used in context with machine enabled translations to ensure that the output, regardless of method of delivery, takes into consideration cultural and social context, including core brand communication guidelines.
Introducing learners to e-learning platforms
Another one of the key barriers to e-learning is variable knowledge of platforms among users across the globe.
In Advanced principles for effective e-learning, author Nicole A Buzzetto-Moore outlined that effectiveness, efficiency, user satisfaction, ease-of-use and ease-of-learning are all crucial.
As well as these standards, the author stressed that site structure, accessibility, interactivity, navigation and multimedia design each play an important role.
By following this approach, ensuring quality across all languages, and constantly reviewing the effectiveness of e-learning, companies will be able to address technical problems and make sure their international teaching initiatives are as efficient as possible.