Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Thursday, 25 June 2015
The need for impactful e-Learning development is growing across the corporate sector. With more and more training budgets directed towards e-learning, companies are able to reach out to their global employees and ensuring same standards of learning across the organization. However, there are some considerations that must be taken into account when creating e-learning content for a global audience. Developers need to make sure that the content is as per the requirement of the audiences. E-learning content Localization comes in at this point – making e-content suitable for specific audiences as per their individualistic requirements.
E-learning content Localization is the process of creating content keeping in mind the different local and cultural preferences of the intended audience. It may include Translation of written or spoken text. However, this is not all. E-learning contentLocalization is much more than just changing the language so that the learners can read up the e-course. While saving time and money it also increases the reliability of e-Learning content, as just one sample of content needs to be verified – and then localized into different modules for a far-reaching global learning strategy.
- The first step to effective e-learning content localization is to understand the learning behavior, preferences and needs of the target audience. While the diverse audience may have many different preferences, there has to be a common learning objective. This needs to be identified before the course development in the source language.
- Cultural biases towards icons, figures or colors needs to be kept in mind. Local experts can attend to language translations and bring in the right cultural flavor to the text. This makes sure that the e-content is as per the cultural preferences of the audience.
- When the e-course is developed, e-learning content localization experts should make sure that the text is concise and crisp. It is important to avoid alliterations and descriptive passages that will confuse the local translators. The use of slang or jargon should also be avoided to make the content free of culture-specific references.
- Audio accompaniment is often an integral part of most e-learning courses. The Localized audio should be in sync with the accompanying text, graphics or animations. If using human-voice for voice-overs, choose a suitable mix of gender and ethnicity, keeping the target audience in mind. Here too, choosing local voice-over artistes is the best option to bring in the right cultural flavor in the audio.
- Remember that cultural bias towards graphics and icons are the strongest. It is a good idea to create graphics with common tools like Photoshop, which allow ‘layering’ that keeps imbedded texts separate in source-files (.psd format). This allows changes to be made in the text, while the image can be left the same.
- Many modern organizations which have a regular and continual need to localize their trainings often prefer to outsource the process of content creation as well as localization to an e-learning company which has all required services. Not only does it centralize the process, the training content is prepared keeping the needs of Localization in mind.
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Technology has evolved rapidly over the past few years and so has the way we work. The workplace has changed scene from traditional desk spaces to a large and fluid area where people are connected to each other all the time through technology. Employees have moved on from desktop computers to laptops and now, tablets and smart-phones. India too has witnessed immense technological advances over the years – especially in the area of mobile usage. It now ranks 2nd in the world, only behind China, in the number of mobile devices in use across the country. As of February 2015, the number of mobile devices in use in India is 960,579,472 (Source: Wikipedia).
With the rapid increase in the use of mobile devices, mobile learning (mlearning) has also made a powerful contribution in the area of training – making it available as per the needs of the learner, anytime and anywhere. mLearning is suitable for a wide range of learners in different industries. mLearning in India can be very successful on account of the workforce becoming increasingly mobile. mLearning can provide short learning nuggets, audio or video-based learning and even performance support. Here are some ways that the mobile learning platform can be utilized:
- To enhance and support the learning imparted in class or through an e-course, course notes can be shared after an instructor-led session or once the learner completes an e-course. This reinforces the learning and increases its impact drastically. The learners can refer to these notes from time to time and refresh their learning, which then reflects on their performance as well. Similarly, checklists can also be prepared for courses or sessions which highlight the crux of the learning through tabulated pointers. Through the mobile devices, the learners can refer to these anytime and anywhere – especially during the course of actual work.
- Another performance support tool can be sent as practice assignments so that learners can practise newly acquired skills outside of the class as well. The assignments can also be sent after the learner completes the e-course. The added advantage is that the learner can read up an e-course on the mobile learning management system and then the same system provides practice assignments to develop the skills gained.
- Short audio recordings or podcasts can also be developed that provide performance support at the time of need. In-house podcasts can be developed by instructors or the learners themselves to encourage sharing and peer-learning.
- Similarly, videos can also be created to gain the instant appeal of all the learner groups. Videos are a great way of providing performance enhancement tools through mobile learning management system as it delivers just-in-time learning – which can be accessed as per the emerging needs of the learner. Videos can encapsulate concepts or topics in a way that appeals to the learners as it has minimal text and attractive graphics. It helps the learners gain quick knowledge quickly and apply it instantly onto the area of work. Organizations can encourage knowledge sharing by providing learners with simple devices with built-in cameras to record videos themselves and share it with the fellow learners.
- It is important to keep in mind that in mobile platforms the reading space is constricted. Also, the opportunity to read is when the learner is on the move. In this scenario, infographics can be utilized to convey information. Infographics can be easily created and easily disseminated among the learners providing encapsulated and tabulated knowledge in an attractive way. Infographics use graphics and minimal text to create visual representations of concepts, which works very well for the mobile platform. Also, infographics are image files that are compatible with all learner devices and learners do not have to download any other supporting programmes. They also take up very little hard-disk space and thus can be saved or stored in the device for further utilization as per the perceived need of the learners.
To help and support the learners to apply the learning on to their work, it is necessary to provide learning as per their needs – as and when they need it. The time is ripe to utilize the mobile platform for learning, and all countries -- including India -- can benefit from the vast opportunities that mobile learning provides.