It’s no secret in global manufacturing that local training is important to ensure employees’ safety, guarantee quality standards, and maintain consistency across borders. In industries where many employees spend little or no time working on computers it’s less well known that e-learning is often the ideal training medium.

Accessible on any device from the Smartphone to the home PC, e-learning facilitates the dissemination of knowledge across a global organization in a fast, standardised, efficient and cost-effective way. Indeed eLearning offers global manufacturers the possibility of a consistently trained workforce as it enables the organization to keep control over the content of the training whilst delivering fully localised courses.

If you’re considering implementing a multilingual e-learning program across your manufacturing plants these tips will help you save both time and money.

Reducing the cost of multilingual e-learning

You will no doubt need to train your global workforce in their native languages, so translation and local adaptation are a must and will take quite a significant portion of your budget. Nevertheless there are several ways you can optimize your multilingual e-learning programs and ensure you keep the costs under control – read our general tips for e-learning and Flash localisation.

Special considerations when developing e-learning for manufacturing

There are various special requirements when developing e-learning for manufacturing. Most relevant from a localisation point of view are:

e-learning courses that offer interactive learning, videos, animations and images are especially valuable for learners in the manufacturing sector. In an environment where hands-on training remains the main medium, animations and videos of hands-on demonstrations will often be included in e-learning.

When developing your courses, animations, videos and audios should be created with localisation in mind. Building animations in html5, for example, helps reduce the localisation cost significantly in comparison to Flash.

Read our case study Giving a Voice to e-learning for some insights from a project with large-scale audio recording requirements.

Courses should be user-friendly and accessible to anyone regardless of their computer skills. If you’re relying heavily on audio, to ensure accessibility you will certainly want to accompany the audio with on-screen text, perhaps in the form of subtitles. You can minimize the localisation engineering workload by avoiding synchronizing individual lines of on-screen text with the audio. It’s often just as effective to display the text for each page as a single block when the page loads.

You can read about the various options to consider when you want to localise audio on our page focused on Multilingual Voice-over and Subtitling.

Employees are likely to take courses when they are mobile. Courses can be accessed directly from mobile devices, such as smartphones, iPads, tablets, laptops, etc. There are various localisation considerations to keep in mind when developing a course for multiple platforms.

It is advisable to author the course using a single source file, in an authoring application which allows you to publish multiple versions of the course for different platforms. You’ll pay a lot more for localisation if you instead send out for localisation a separate source file for each platform, as language-specific bug fixes will need to be implemented separately in each localised source file.

Your e-learning localisation specialists

Asian Absolute has over a decade of experience translating content and localising materials for manufacturers, and a wealth of experience in e-learning localisation. For more information get in touch via our contact page.