Online learning or e-learning is a booming industry. Research from Global Industry Analysts has predicted it will reach $107 billion (£72 billion) of revenue by the end of 2015.
Meanwhile, Docebo’s E-Learning Market Trends and Forecasts 2014-2016 report expects the industry’s compound annual growth rate to be around 7.6 per cent in 2012-16.
The highest growth rate is likely to be in Asia at 17.3 per cent, followed by Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America.
Why learn online?
Distance learning is nothing new, but companies are rapidly waking up to the fact that e-learning can be a rapid and relatively inexpensive way of keeping skills up to date, leaning new things and staying ahead of the competition.
Traditional methods of education aren’t going away completely, but all kinds of organisations are opting to offer web-based training including presentations, seminars, white papers and safety information.
There’s also the fact that since e-learning material is mostly posted to the cloud, it can be accessed anywhere – especially given the increasing proliferation of smartphones and tablets worldwide. E-learning is now about so much more than simply tutorials posted by amateurs on YouTube – it is a huge industry.
Globalization – don’t let language be a barrier
However, one potential barrier to providing e-learning materials is language. If you’re only producing your material in, say, English, you’re alienating potential audience members who don’t speak it, or don’t feel confident enough to follow it when technical language and terminology might be thrown in.
One way of getting around this is globalization – the process of designing and creating content that functions in multiple cultures or locales. It’s different to localization, which involves customising content that already exists so that it can be used in other markets.
Globalization is all about making something new to suit a particular audience and involves identifying your markets, designing features to suit them and writing your content.
Things you might need to consider are:
• Character classification – do punctuation marks mean different things to your target audience than they would in your native tongue?
• Date and time formatting – which way round would your audience write the date and month?
• Weights and measures – is your target audience used to the metric or imperial system?
Getting experts to help you
Understanding the ins and outs of globalization can be difficult – and nigh on impossible if you don’t happen to have language experts at your organisation that know plenty about your target region.
That’s where specialist service providers come in useful. They can work with you on e-learning projects right from the beginning to ensure they will be understandable in multilingual markets, helping you adapt to the language, culture, customs and other idiosyncrasies of the locale in which your target audience is situated.
Written text from product labels to white papers can be delivered, while good providers will also be able to assist you with spoken information for meetings and webinars.
The EQHO difference
At EQHO, we’re experts in e-learning and training and our in-house teams can provide everything you need to roll out high-quality, multilingual courseware.
We have already helped some of the largest corporations, e-publishers and digital learning developers in up to 60 languages – and we produce everything in the security of our own multimedia labs.
For more details on how we can help you create a comprehensive e-learning globalization and localization package, get in touch with us for a quote today – and ensure you’re getting a share of this booming global market for training.