E-learning allows people to learn from anywhere in the world and it is quickly becoming the future of education. Hundreds of colleges and universities are offering full degrees without students ever needing to step inside a classroom. This trend is quickly catching on throughout the world, resulting in the need for E-learning localization so that students from all over the world can learn everything they need to move up in their careers. Everyone learns differently, so it is critically that all E-learning materials be properly localized or it will harm the learning process.
Address the Cultural Education Norms
Education is carried out differently in different countries and some countries are far more advanced than others. It is critical that the software and program be written with these standards in mind or else the students will struggle or not be challenged enough to really learn anything. Look at the curriculums in the countries you want to target and when localizing the program, be sure to adhere to these strictly.
Consider the Incorporation of Different Learning Styles
Some students learn best via visual means, some learn best via hearing and some learn
best via doing. When localizing your program, look at how the target market teaches in classrooms
and incorporate all of these learning styles into the program. For example, if you are working
to localize English language E-learning software for Spanish-speaking students, it is a good
idea to use all three learning methods because when combined these ensure that the language
is easier to learn. Use a photo that has the vocabulary word on it and allow the student to click on
the picture to hear the word being spoken by someone with an American accent. This reiterates
the lesson and allows all types of learners to easily grasp the material.
Bring in Familiar Language and Other Media
The great thing about E-learning is that it is done right where the students sits. This means that they can travel to a different country and still learn from software that is targeted to their country. This is ideal for those trying to learn languages, such as an American traveling to Germany and using E-learning to learn German and more about the culture. In this case, the software will be localized to the American market and will use terms and media that Americans are familiar with to explain the German culture and to instruct how to properly speak the German language.
When localizing E-learning software and materials, it is critical that all cultural norms be attended to. Students should feel comfortable with the program and be able to adapt it to their personal learning style. This requires a fine balance between localization and maintaining rigorous learning goals and standards. Since this is a difficult localization task to pull off, it is critical that E-learning localization experts take on the job because they understand what needs to happen to create a product that is culturally correct and has a rigorous education program.