Top Trends Impacting eLearning Localization in 2018

by Stefanie Brockway

Online courses composed of interactive presentations, videos, and assessments were once an uncommon alternative to face-to-face learning. Now as technology reshapes the learning landscape, eLearning is not just the way of the future, it is also the present. In recent years, the eLearning market crossed the 165-billion-US-dollar threshold, emphasizing the ubiquity of eLearning. With content reaching every corner of the globe, eLearning localization is more important than ever.

In 2018, these are some of the top trends that will influence eLearning localization:

More Mobile

With more than 7.8 billion mobile subscriptions reported in the third quarter of 2017 and experts approximating that 9.1 billion subscriptions will exist by 2023, an ever-increasing number of people are using their smartphones to access content online. Countries adding the most subscriptions were China, Indonesia, the United States, Angola, and Pakistan. With more people than ever having access to eLearning devices, businesses must prepare to offer their courses globally. As a result, localization is more pressing than ever.

An Emphasis on Video

2018 trends in elearning localization

In addition to accessing content via smartphones, users are also voicing inclinations for learning via video technology. With estimates that video will account for 80% of all online traffic by 2019, this medium that blends visual and auditory learning is an essential part of eLearning courses and modules. To make the video content accessible to global learners, eLearning localization can take place through storyline translation, subtitle translation, and voice-over translation.

A Move to Microlearning

A trend that is quickly growing in popularity is microlearning. Instead of taking eLearning courses that span long stretches of time and survey every aspect of a topic, learners are voicing a clear preference for bite-sized content that dives deeply into particular subtopics, allowing individuals to fine-tune skills that address a specific problem. Localization teams are comprised of experts in specific subject matters and technical skills who can localize specific content that addresses immediate needs and maximizes the time of the learner.

Personalized Learning Experiences

Companies and organizations who offer eLearning will continue to have to find ways to offer personalized learning experiences. One-size-fits-all traditional teaching methods are out of place in the world of eLearning. Instead, the eLearning experience needs to account for the fact that learners reach mastery at different points and start with varying backgrounds, strengths, and deficits. To do this, eLearning may personalize the environment, the content, and/or the interaction. Localization experts can help companies and organizations ensure that fonts, sizes, and other on-screen elements are tailored to specific audiences, in addition to localizing the text, video, and audio components of the course. One option may be to have eLearning modules completely localized through audio components. Alternatively, the video content of eLearning modules could be localized into dozens of languages based on the learner profile. By personalizing these aspects of learning, eLearning localization not only engages learners, it empowers them.

Increased Accessibility

Another eLearning localization trend in 2018 will be accessibility and usability of eLearning courses. In addition to making sure that coursework is free from clutter and communicated in simple and clear language, there will be a renewed emphasis on Universal Design for Learning. Different regions of the world have different legislation regarding accessibility, in addition to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Considerations include alternative content like transcript PDFs and subtitles, clear navigation, and strategic animation to accommodate learners who may have cognitive, visual, physical, auditory, or neurological disabilities.  Localization teams understand the protocols and can deliver content that adheres to guidelines and best practices, ensuring that learning is accessible to all.

Final Thoughts on eLearning Trends Impacting eLearning Localization in 2018

With the booming popularity of eLearning, eLearning localization is more important than ever. Online educational content looks to incorporate more mobile and video media, in addition to promoting microlearning, a personalized experience, and accessibility. In order to keep pace with these eLearning trends of 2018, it is vital that companies and organizations partner with professional localization teams to offer the best experience possible to learners.

Stefanie Brockway

Marketing and Sales Coordinator

"I enjoy working at Interpro because it is a small family-owned business that truly cares about their employees and every client they get to establish a relationship with. Also, we all work together towards the same goal as a team. We are all here for each other."