By: Maurice Van Zutphen, inwhatlanguage Director of Operations
E-learning courses offer employees and students course curriculum and training in a digital setting. These software or web based classes can utilize real-time interactions, audio, and video to give fully interactive experiences to learners for efficient and improved retention. Greater opportunities for collaboration have shown significant improvement in learner output. A study found that students using online learning materials were more engaged, enjoyed the course more, understood material better, and performed on average 20% better than students taught in a classroom setting.
71% of CEOs agreed that employees are considered the “human capital” of business and ranked the training of their staff above the product itself.2 Global enterprises create e-learning courses to relay consistent and detailed training to their employees and branches worldwide.
E-learning materials have the potential to create better learning environments and materials for students as well as employees. However, language barriers can often stunt the benefits of digital curriculums.
Today, e-learning is increasingly demanded by companies and students across the world, with $32.1 billion in revenue from 2010 alone. For enterprises looking to expand into international markets, it’s no longer an option to simply offer courses or training materials in one language. With over 1.3 billion speakers combined of Mandarin and Cantonese, China is currently ranked as number two in the top ten countries with growing demand for e-learning.
High Quality Voiceover for Improved Learning
When voiceover is created and executed effectively, it plays a key role to e-learning courses by enhancing the learning environment with clarifying and interactive content. Creating high quality voiceover begins with the initial mapping out of an e-learning course. Although a voiceover script may seem simple enough, one of the most common mistakes course creators make is identifying voiceover as the same as face-to-face interaction.
Simple restructuring of word phrasings can make huge impacts to learners. Basic “conditional logic” statements that instruct learners to perform actions when a condition is met can easily become muddled with slight adjustments to phrasing. For example, if a learner hears, “Click the next button when you’ve completed the exercise” they are much more likely to hit the next button right away than if they were to hear, “When you’ve completed the exercise, click the Next button.”3 Voiceover involves careful analysis of word phrasing and a thorough knowledge of how culture can affect listening and learning outcomes.
Voiceover is already a complex process to create in one’s own native language, nonetheless in a foreign language and culture. It’s dangerously easy to run into mistakes and miscommunications. Voiceover for multilingual content isn’t as simple as directly translating English audio into the target language. Just as certain audio cues impact English speakers, these can vary amongst different cultures and languages. In order to convey a consistent message, creators of e-learning courses work with skilled linguists and voiceover talent to write scripts that enhances learners’ experience.
Facilitated Learning with Video
In this digital era, online videos are becoming more and more popular for sharing information. Every minute almost 400 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube, while users were estimated to spend 40 minutes watching videos per session.4 Videos are powerful forms of media and when placed in e-learning courses have the potential to help your students engage, remember, and put lessons into action.
Localization and Translation of Multimedia
Videos are a complex combination of audio, visuals, and sometimes subtitling. Preparing this type of content for international audiences can be daunting. Individual learner’s background such as culture, family, and socioeconomic learning can affect the preferred style and success of learning.5 A consistent, understandable, and culturally sensitive message is crucial to creating training or curriculum that benefits learners.
Taking into account the location that your students or employees are learning from is important to functionality and interaction. Make courses more accessible to learners by choosing the most commonly used platforms of your locale. Even details such as video compression are easily impacted by locale bandwidth and can in-turn influence a learner’s interactivity with course content.
Speed, Growth, and Expansion
Multilingual availability of e-learning voiceover and video benefits instructors and students. Students and employees that utilize e-learning courses have shown significantly improved speeds of learning and retention in comparison to traditional in-classroom teaching methods. E-learning courses significantly cut down on time needed for instruction by 60%, saving instructors and enterprises valuable resources.
International organizations that utilize multimedia e-learning for training their employees have shown improvements that lead to increased growth and expansion. IBM reported that e-learning courses have increased productivity, ability to change procedures or products, customer satisfaction, and in staff satisfaction. Another study found that e-learning tools can boost productivity by 50% meaning that for every $1 companies spend, they can receive $30 worth of productivity.6 Cutting costs and time for high quality employee training, means greater growth, and helps businesses reach their maximum expansion.
Multilingual E-learning Expertise
Enterprises or instructors looking to branch out to global audiences have the greatest chance for success by working with e-learning translation and localization experts such as those at inwhatlanguage. Those with the right expertise not only understand your message, but know how to establish the same message for any locale and language to empower your students or business to learn more with greater ease.