Five Trends in the Global Learning Industry

At Welocalize, we are experts at localizing learning content and strong believers that it isn’t what you say, it is how you say it.Learning aficionados understand great content is designed and defined for a specific target audience. Understanding how to do this using a wide variety of techniques is an important consideration for today’s growing global learning industry.

Some of the biggest growth levels in the global learning industry have occurred within the online learning market. With an aggregate growth rate of 7.6% worldwide, and a colossal growth rate of 17.3% in Asia in 2014, it can be argued as one of the fastest growing markets in the world. The online learning industry is set to make $107 billion in 2015 with the US spending more on e-learning than any other country in the world, making it the most mature market. Second place goes to Western Europe; however, it is predicted that by 2016, Asia will be spending more and overtaking other geographies. From these statistics, it can be seen how significant e-learning is to modern business.

Learning is core and an imperative for any thriving and sustainable business. It crosses every industry and market, as well as geography. With learning channels that cover the entire value chain of an enterprise, as well as the diversity of learning populations, global online learning material must be localized to suit the local audience using it in order to truly have a global impact. Localization in the learning industry consists of translating texts and learning resources, translating voice-overs of training videos and modifying the interactive components of the training.

The localization of e-learning is crucial in ensuring that employees are up-to-date with their company training programs. The fact is learning is always more effective when you are consuming it in your own language. It is also just as important to take into account cultural differences for learning. For example, the number 4 is considered extremely negative in China yet might be frequently used in sequencing of content, organization details or representing facts and figures. With the growing importance of global e-learning, it is essential that localization is carried appropriately in line with overall learning and business objectives.

There are several significant trends establishing themselves as noteworthy aspects of the learning industry:

GAMIFICATION: One of the upcoming trends for the learning industry is the introduction of gamification to the learning process. Learning gamification is the method of utilizing gaming techniques in the development of learning content in order to increase usability and retention. This process involves making learning engaging, motivating and more entertaining with a game-like interaction. With the constant development of new technology, this can only develop further and become more exciting for both learning administrators and content designers, as well as learning consumers.

PERSONALIZED LEARNING: Another interesting trend in the learning industry is the idea of personalized learning. Personalized learning consists of allowing the learner to make their own decisions and choices about what they learn and the method in which they learn it, allowing them to tailor the learning to suit their own style and pace. This form of learning also allows the user to pull the information they need to them, opposed to having information pushed towards them.

MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES (MOOC’s): As one of the hottest trends in e-learning, MOOCs are the concept of putting real-life lectures online. This is a form of learning being adopted by universities worldwide, as a result of the increasing number of students and because of the effectiveness of this form of teaching. It is believed that eventually all of learning will be done online allowing academic institutions and universities to cut costs and freeing people from the confinements of campuses.

MOBILE LEARNING APPS: Another key trend for localization in the learning industry is the increased introduction of mobile learning apps. With the increasing use of mobile devices, it seems appropriate that people can access learning materials any time, any where, in every channel and while on the move. This form of learning involves the introduction of new designs which can accommodate the small screen sizes of mobile devices and making it more comfortable to use by mobile learners. It also allows users to learn wherever they are, even outside of work, saving them time for when they are inside the workplace.

AUGMENTED LEARNING: The final developing trend is the use of augmented learning. This is the introduction of virtual reality to create a learning environment for people to learn wherever they are at any given time. This method includes both the advantages of entertainment like gamification and mobile learning, similar to mobile learning apps. Because of these advantages, augmented learning is a growth area in the e-learning market with massive appeal for learning professionals. This method could also become one of the most effective forms of learning, as it can replicate situations employees may encounter when at work or distributors pitching a new product to a consumer.

Overall, it is important to consider all of these trends within the learning industry are going to impact supply chains, working relationships and the ways we learn in the future. If you want to be using the most up-to-date forms of training methodologies and technologies, it is essential to stay abreast of these trends and turn to a localization and learning language experts to get the full impact of developing your programs for your global audience. It is also important to remember to plan for successful localization in the development of materials and learning technologies, to save time and expense and help you deliver your content on time. In the end, whatever the content type of method for delivery, when delivered in the language of choice, all these forms of training need to be designed around providing the optimal learning experience.