Slides - Avoiding the Pitfalls of Global e-Learning


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Most of your global workforce has a good understanding of English. Or do they? While their speaking skills indicate proficiency for common vocabulary, do they learn well enough in English to comprehend and assimilate policy, new processes or change behavior and performance?

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  • Chanin
  • Chanin
  • ChaninLet’s see what you all know about your workforce. Please take a minute to answer this poll question.
  • JulieSo, they may know English, they may understand it, but can they learn in it?Most importantly, will their performance and behavior changes as a result of training provided in English? Likely not. This is vital knowledge when developing training in English.Flesch-Kincaid have figured out reading level theory for us already. When deciding whether or not to localize.Essentially,1st grade level readers comprehend shorter sentences with fewer words and fewer syllables.The higher the grade level the longer the sentences with more complex words.
  • We recommend writing at a 6th grade English literacy level for Internationalization. Let’s look at some examples.Keeping internationalization and localization in mind, write the initial content at a 6th grade level. This will help keep the level of learning more uncomplicated for your audience.
  • According to I.S.P. Nation’s findings, high school graduates native to the US know about 20,000 word families or 32,000 lexical items. However, in Japan and other countries, learners are reported to know about 2,000-2,300 word families after 800-1200 hours of English instruction. They are considered fluent at this point. Even university educated adults only know about 25% of the vocabulary compared to their native speaking peers! Such research indicates that even fluent individuals are susceptible to comprehension difficulties, which reduces training effectiveness and global performance. If they only know about 25% of the language, think about how difficult it will be for them to learn in English….In my experience, if you aren’t going to translate, consider how well your learners learn in English.Take away here: remember that fluency does not mean that someone uses the full breadth of a language’s vocabulary.
  • Chanin
  • Julie/ChaninUnique to implementing a global e-learning program. Darin will speak to #4 later in this presentation.Know your target culture and market. Be prepared to adapt to it. Customize training components for the region—make new scenarios, different content, or employe other training methods for your audience. Perhaps a podcast or video is more appropriate for a different audience/locale.Obtain country/regional buy-in to make the process smoother and the go-to-market date sooner.Daren will speak to #4 soon--Localize design and delivery
  • JulieThe first challenge is adapting the instructional design.Think about these questions: What is the cultural learning style? You need to know your target culture and market and adapt courseware accordingly. If not, you can create training coursesthat do not resonate with the audience. For example, Americans prefer direct, to the point communication. Many Latin American countries prefer circular communication; let the story make the point. These two differences in communication can greatly impact the approach of your training.What is the learner accustomed to? What happens now? Is most training completed face-to-face, self-directedor e-learning? Changing the delivery method of a training course can impact the participation in training programs so be sure that the learners are willing to give e-learning a shot. In our particular case, the company minimally adapted the training because it was process training. But, if you are developing a more behavioral based training program, adaptation of the instructional design would be made to accommodate the differences in learning styles. Lastly, is training valued? Do the learners like to learn? Or are they completing the training to check off a list?
  • JulieThe next challenge is Regional Customization. First is content: make sure the content is local and relevant: Do you only need to change the words a you might for process training, or write/include country-specific scenarios, videos or podcasts? To what degree do images need to be changed? If at all? Is the branding the same, or is it different per region? Are the current workflow systems in place the same in the different regions, or will content need to be modified? For example, if completing a training on requesting benefits information, is that process the same in France as it is in the China? Or different? Regarding policy and law exceptions, TSA safety training is the same regardless of the state you are in, but Foreign Corrupt Practices Act training may require different training content in different countries. What’s the timeline/budget impact of these modifications? Does the ROI support the changes? If these are all areas that need to be localized, catch it now or it will cost more and take longer later on.
  • Julie/Chanin Another challenge is regional buy-in.Are the stakeholders invested in the program? Do they have time to participate and provide feedback? What roadblocks are there, politically and socially, to implementing an e-learning program?Who’s budget? Tie to case study. If stakeholder see it being a cost efficient move and clear win-win situation with the stakeholders then that’s usually the case, but it really depends on the goals of the course, expectations.
  • JulieGoing back to our example, there are three pieces to the solution that aided in the success of that project.By thinking of modularization and localization of the script and content in advance, we were able to save the customer 24%. The localization process consisted of shared glossaries, style guides and translation memory. This sped up the timeline and saved on budget. The company decided to share the expense across business units. This worked out very positively for this particular project, but often can be a large headache. The stakeholders have to decide who is paying for the courseware. Many times regions don’t have large budgets for training, and the central training department doesn’t always want to pay for localization or regionalization….be aware of this issue. This leads us to a discussion about centralized vs. decentralized training.
  • JulieThere are benefits to having training centralized (out of HQ, for instance), and also for it to be decentralized.Benefits of centralization are:It’s much easier to control branding and messagingShared and repurposed content and control of assetsInternationalize source files once because one unit is completing the project, not multiple.One location = schedule shorter, saving time because files are in one locationShared budget to spread costs across units and shorter scheduleBenefits of decentralization are:Local customization may be easierStronger ownership of project
  • So we have covered a lot of the design and business challenges that organizations face with launching a global eLearning program, Lets now look at some best practices on a perhaps a more technical note.What does it mean to internationalize, and what do you need to consider at the localization stage. Let’s start with Internationalization.
  • Darin –Internationalization is essentially the process of neutralizing the English content from the actual elearning application framework or source files. Done correctly it allows you to localize into different languages very efficiently. Three concepts to focus at a basic level are - Externalize the content – Get the words to be translated “out” of the source code that makes the elearning application. For instance in a Flash environment you don’t want to embed the English words in the source .FLA files you want the source files to reference a simple .xml file that contains all the words used in the application.Text expansion – You need to consider that many languages “expand” by 25% or more from the English language. German and Portuguese are two good examples of this. Leave plenty of white space to ensure words are not cut off or that you run into a cluttered display.Asian languages frequently “contract” or take less space in length than the English. However due to the nature of the characters, the vertical space is more of an issue. Asian language characters will often need to be one or two “points” larger that the English when working in small “point” numbers.Currency, Address, phone numbers, shipping options, and other international formatting issues – If you have an application that utilizes this type of data, don’t assume that US centric formats will work when you localize. Also - If your elearning course is training the user on say a software application, is the application already localized? Is there ample localized user data to build the course from?If the application itself is not localized you will need to utilize English terms and concepts as well as provide translations for them as a reference point.
  • Darin – One of the main considerations at the translation and localization stage is text expansion and it’s implication on how much screen space you have and how it effects any voice audio tracks you may have in your course. Remember, text expansion = audio expansion.Consider the “Speed of speaking” and leave some room. Pace things comfortably. [JULIE] I bet that really impacts the costs for voice over. So keep it brief. Use small audio clips triggered on event. Like an animation. Imagine a pointer drawing attention to an area of a picture or display and speaking about some specific characteristic. Keep the audio clips concise as opposed to one long narrative. That will make the process of synching up the new voice recordings to the course much, much easier.Efficiently use the white space you built in for resizing on the screen real estateUse neutral imagery or adapt images. Often times simple imagery for the US market is lost in other cultures and also colors will have different meanings. For instance a graphic of a mailbox that may make sense to us in the US doesn’t convey the same meaning in other countries. US centric images don’t always work. Let’s look at two simple colors – White is considered a sign of purity in the US, a sign of Death in Japan, Joy in Egypt, and Death or Purity in China. Red is thought to symbolize Death or Anger in both the US and in Japan and Happiness in China. Overall design elements should take color pallets into consideration.
  • Here’s a localization example that points out a couple different localizationchallenges.The work “Smart” and the word “Technology”= were each one movie clip. Each English letter in the clip had a unique masking.One challenge related to text expansion was that we had to fit the new characters (and there were more of them) to the original masking (double up letters) or spend a bunch of time setting up new masking. Thankfully it happened fast on the screen and the doubling up of the letters looked fine. Across the 15 languages we were working in, if it had not, we would have had to spend a good bit of reengineering time.The other challenge here is that the word order swapped in many of the languages. That meant reordering events in the timeline.Takeaway point – motions graphics are nice, but they can be costly to localize. Think just 1 extra hour for each language and a 15 language project starts to get expensive and time consuming if there are several instances of issues like this.
  • Darin Translation Memory is a software program that pairs source (English) and translated segments of your content. It builds up over time - it’s like compounding interest!We have customers that save 20 – 40% from the first translation of their material
  • Darin The content on the left is the English and the content on the right is the Spanish to form the pair.The color coding is done with the TM tool and the translation team makes use of this as they complete their work. For example key words or glossary items can be pulled into each segment automatically.
  • DarinSpend the extra time and money upfront. Data suggests that each bug or defect found at the end of a Localization QA cycle can cost upwards of 10 times what it would have cost to fix it upfront.Use a localization firm that utilizes Translation memory. The cost savings and quality increases are significant over time. Upwards of 50% on translation costs in future iterations.Having your in-country stakeholders involved in the process and on board early saves the potential for considerable rework near the end of the project. (additional costs, scope creep, and schedule impact)
  • Julie/ChaninMake sure that your vendor has:Well defined, rapid review process for the benefit of a speedier scheduleDecide serial or simultaneous development. Serial ensures all bugs are worked out and the scripts are agreed upon. Simultaneous means quicker go to market schedules, however budget may increase if changes need to be made across multiple languages at the same time. Clear roles – input, review milestones or both. What is the role of each person involved, from the approver to the subject matter expert? Who is involved in the milestone reviews? Define this at the beginning to ensure approvals are sent to the appropriate persons and don’t get stuck with someone. Project schedule – can stakeholders commit? Will those involved be able to meet a two day turn around review cycle, for example?Vendor experience needed – e.g., cultural specific instructional designers, bilingual script writers, review staff, etc.
  • JulieNow that you’ve set up the project, here are some extra collaborating points.Regional involvement and collaboration does this: it provides a better experience for the audienceDiscuss and agree on specific or unique training objectives. What is your learning approach? Podcast, flash-based e-learning, rapid e-learning, interactive or not, video, etc…What scenarios/script is most applicable to the audience?Make sure the content and graphic/imagery/look and feel are most appropriate for your audience.
  • JulieRegional involvement necessitates milestone reviews to ensure staying on budget and timeline. These are the minimum milestones to involve stakeholders for review. Stakeholders are the financial approvers, project owners, subject matter experts, etc. Involve appropriate people at this point (discussed during the project initiation/beginning phase)Some ways to get those individuals to participate in the milestone reviews:Content review and approvalsSend those involved the scope of work Have regular meetings. For example, establish a once per week check in for the duration of the project.Have one stakeholder/owner identified and set the roles/expectations upon launch of the project. Ensure SMEs are aware of this person.Involve regional SMEs early onShould the SMEs disagree on concepts/verbiage/etc, facilitate them coming to an agreement. They are the experts on their regions.Consider having more brainstorming and content review milestones to ensure the learning objectives are clear and unchanged during the processMore reviewers means longer timeline -Limit the number of regional reviewers to just a few, a maximum of 2 or 3 is ideal -The more reviewers means more time and budget is needed to consolidate feedback and agree on content/fixes -Test the course in an environment similar to what the end user will be operating in: rather than reviewing and testing on a T3 line networked server, test on a dial-up connection if that’s how the users will be accessing the course
  • Slides - Avoiding the Pitfalls of Global e-Learning

    1. 1. Avoiding the Pitfalls of Global e-Learning<br />April 13, 2010<br />
    2. 2. Your Presenters<br />Julie Brink, viaLearning<br />Director of eLearning <br />Darin Goble, viaLanguage<br />Manager of Engineering <br />Moderator: Chanin Ballance, viaLanguage<br />Co-founder, President and CEO <br />
    3. 3. Today’s Agenda<br />Challenges of deploying a global e-learning program<br />Design and delivery best practices<br />Tips for regional collaboration<br />Q&A <br />
    4. 4. How well does your workforce learn in English?<br />Introduction to Health Literacy<br />
    5. 5. Poll Question #1 <br />How fluent is the English of your non-US workforce?<br /> a) High<br /> b) Intermediate<br /> c) Low-Beginner<br /> d) Not Sure<br />
    6. 6. English Comprehension <br />Your workforce may speak some English, <br />but do they really understand it?<br />
    7. 7. Readability Level<br />Writing at a 6th grade level is recommended <br />4th grade: Some people don’t learn in their second language well. <br />8th grade: Some people don’t learn in their second language well without classroom instruction.<br />12th grade: Some employees don’t learn well in their second language without adequate training, practice and applied conversation. <br />
    8. 8. English-Only Isn’t Enough<br />“Even university educated Japanese adults only know about 25% of the vocabulary compared to their native speaking peers.”<br />Nation, I.S. P. Teaching and Learning Vocabulary<br />Heinle and Heinle, New York, 1990.<br />
    9. 9. Challenges of Global e-Learning<br />Introduction to Health Literacy<br />
    10. 10. Global Retail Case Study<br />Imagine: You are the Director of Training for a large global athletic shoe and apparel manufacturer.<br />Your goal: Train Latin American employees on how to use the new supply chain management system. <br />
    11. 11. Global e-Learning Challenges<br />Challenges unique to global e-learning:<br />Design for culture<br />Customize for the region<br />Obtain country/regional buy-in<br />Localize design and delivery<br />
    12. 12. Culturally Adapting ID<br />High<br />Cultural context<br />Style: explicit to indirect<br />Is training valued?<br />Content <br />(shared vs. transmitted information)<br />Japanese<br />Arabs<br />Latin Americans<br />Italians/Spanish<br />French<br />English<br />Anglo-Americans<br />Scandinavians<br />Germans<br />Swiss<br />Low<br />Indirect, informal<br />symbolical; pictures<br />Explicit, direct, <br />formal; written<br />Communication Style<br />
    13. 13. Regional Customization <br />Customizing course elements for the location<br /><ul><li>Local, relevant content
    14. 14. Images and branding
    15. 15. Workflow systems
    16. 16. Policy and law exceptions</li></li></ul><li>Regional Buy-In<br />Country/Regional Buy-in<br />Are the stakeholders invested?<br />Time, politics and budget<br />
    17. 17. Global Retail Example<br />Solution<br />Modularization – of script and content per country<br />Localization – shared glossaries, style guides and translation memory<br />Shared budgets<br />**Reduced global e-Learning development by 24% as compared to other courses<br />
    18. 18. Centralized vs. Decentralized<br />Centralization Benefits<br />Brand and message control<br />Shared and repurposed content and control of assets<br />Internationalize source files once <br />Time saved<br />Costs saved <br />**Weigh against decentralization benefits<br />
    19. 19. Poll Question #2 <br />Where are most of your courses<br />created today? <br />Centrally/at HQ<br />In the region<br />Both depending on circumstances<br />
    20. 20. Design and Delivery Best Practices<br />Introduction to Health Literacy<br />
    21. 21. Best Practices <br />Internationalize<br />Localize content<br />Use translation memory<br />
    22. 22. What is Internationalization?<br />Build in support for multiple locales <br /> from the start<br /> Externalize the content<br /> Design screens for text expansion<br /> Specific formatting issues <br />
    23. 23. Translation and Localization<br />Creating the locale specific content, i.e. translation<br /> Audio/voice syncing<br /> Motion graphics<br /> Imagery<br />
    24. 24. Localization Example<br />
    25. 25. Use Translation Memory<br />Database pairing containing segments of English and another language<br />Provides consistency for future additions<br />Provides cost savings for future editions<br />
    26. 26. How It Works<br />
    27. 27. Cost Reduction Strategies<br /><ul><li>Upfront internationalization of course</li></ul>15% savings per language<br /><ul><li>Use translation memory</li></ul>10-50% savings per language on future iterations<br /><ul><li>Well run collaboration with in-country teams</li></ul>$$Priceless$$<br />
    28. 28. Tips for In-country Collaboration<br />Introduction to Health Literacy<br />
    29. 29. In the Beginning… <br />Well defined, rapid review process <br />Decide serial or simultaneous development<br />Clear roles – input, review milestones or both<br />Project schedule – can they commit <br />Vendor experience needed – e.g., cultural specific instructional designers, bilingual script writers, review staff, etc. <br />
    30. 30. Collaboration Points<br />Specific or unique training objectives<br />Learning approach<br />Script and scenarios most applicable<br />Content development and graphic design<br />
    31. 31. Milestone Reviews<br />Learning approach<br />Content review and approvals<br />Script <br />Graphics/design<br />Localized script and graphics<br />Localized functioning course – alpha and beta<br />Final approvals<br />
    32. 32. Q&A <br />
    33. 33. Thank you for attending! <br />For more information please contact us: <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /><br />All attendees will receive the free solution brief: Going Global with e-Learning <br />
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