This month on the blog, we’re going to take a look at the rapid rise of e-learning. In particular, we’ll be focusing on the benefits of multi-lingual e-learning solutions and how translation can take the potentials of e-learning to whole new heights.

Corona virus and e-learning

Even before the corona virus pandemic began, e-learning had been on the rise for many years in all its forms and across multiple fronts. From classroom and workplace learning contexts to individual and private settings, more and more of us had been using our computers and devices to connect to the internet and acquire new skills, whether through direct tuition or independent practice and study.

Despite a clear upward trend, however, development was often shaky and uneven. New tools would emerge and disappear, while schools and companies were often reluctant to go all-in. But then, like a bolt from the blue, the pandemic came along and hit the accelerator like never before.

Overnight, entire classrooms were forced out of the school building and onto the Internet. Company training sessions shifted suddenly from the conference room to Teams or Zoom. And life-long learners found themselves exploring new apps and other e-learning tools to fill the gap left by cancelled night classes or shuttered libraries.

E-learning revolution

There were plenty of bumps along the way as teachers and students found themselves contending with familiar concepts like classroom discipline and group work, but now in a brand new digital setting. Microphones got stuck on mute, systems crashed or malfunctioned and students found hours of entertainment in ridiculous backgrounds and new ways to misbehave.

Ultimately, however, 2020 was an e-learning revolution. Skeptics and the uninitiated alike had their eyes opened to the many benefits that e-learning can bring and a sudden, unprecedented demand was born for new e-learning solutions.

The result of this has been an exciting wealth of new opportunities for e-learning software developers and e-learning companies who can help us with new values and to extract the full value of e-learning opportunities. Beyond just keeping us together in a time of lock downs and social distancing, this means recognising the potential for e-learning to reach across borders, both geographical and political, but, in our view, also linguistic.

Personalised learning in multiple languages

One of the major benefits of e-learning is its potential for personalisation. Students are no longer forced to keep up with fast-paced lecturers or wait in frustration while slower peers work to catch up. Instead, they have the option to pause and re-watch or re-read content as many times as they need, or to finish exercises and move on the second they’re ready. This not only helps students in their pursuit of learning, but it can also boost engagement and improve self-confidence.

This is also one key area where translation can really help take e-learning to a new level. In traditional learning, a teacher can only deliver course materials in one language at a time, but e-learning platforms can offer students the option to switch language at the touch of a button.

This eliminates the need for foreign-born students or colleagues to try and absorb complex information in a second or third language. Instead, they can access materials and complete exercises in their native language, putting them on a more equal footing with their peers.

Ultimately, this improves group cohesion and in a corporate context it can help facilitate the smooth integration and acclimatisation of international talent.

Democratising learning

Besides personalisation, e-learning also offers opportunities for educational institutions and private organisations to spread knowledge and expertise to all four corners of the world. Students who are unable or unwilling to cross borders or spend a small fortune to get an education abroad can instead enrol on courses online or use apps to acquire new knowledge.

What’s more, when e-learning courses and content are translated into multiple languages, they can be accessed by users from all sorts of backgrounds, including disadvantaged societies where English tuition is not available to all. The democratising potential for this is huge as it enables individuals to acquire vital knowledge that they can use to help develop their societies.

Users make the best developers

Here at COMUNICA, we have ample experience within the translation of e-learning platforms and content. Besides helping clients to translate their materials, we have previously developed webinars for our linguists and we recently launched our very own online Knowledge Base for translators.

Concretely what this means is that all of our translators have first-hand experience with e-learning. They know what makes a good platform and what to consider when translating e-learning content into their native language.

If you have developed an e-learning platform, app or program and are considering a multi-lingual solution, feel free to get in touch for a chat about the possibilities. We will be happy to offer advice and insights into what languages to choose, considerations relating to terminology and localisation, and to provide you with a commitment-free quote for the job.