eLearning has been around a long time, but the pandemic has changed its status from a secondary mode of education to a near-primary mode. Even after schools and colleges have begun to open, teachers and student prefer some mode of instruction to happen through the digital format.
For the corporate sector, eLearning provides many a convenience such as cost benefit and ease in rolling out new updates. So, it has come to stay as a popular approach to training staff, marketing new products, and so on.
The challenge of online education now has been to create eLearning courses which don’t feel like they were put up in a hurry. Instead, they should be able to hold the learner’s interest. In this post, we’ll talk about nine steps you can take to create compelling eLearning content for your Japanese market.
1. Translate and localize.
Without a doubt, it’s the first step that you need to take if you want to release an eLearning course for Japan. Whether you want to train your staff on compliance or process, or create product explainer videos for your customers, or create education content for students, it will all have to be in Japanese for a Japanese audience.
Translating and localizing for Japanese is complicated, given the way the language and culture work in Japan. The structure of a sentence in Japanese is different from that of a sentence in English. For instance, in English we say, “I am eating bread.” The order is subject-verb-object. In Japanese, however, it is subject-object-verb.
Also, the verb changes depending on whom you are speaking to following the formality levels. The verbs you would use to speak with your peers changes when you speak to someone elder to you or in a position of power. It’s a highly stratified society and its language has evolved accordingly.
2. Set clear objectives.
Make it clear to the learner what the objectives of the eLearning course are. This way the learner knows what to expect from the course, why they are taking the course, and what is expected from them. It also makes the roadmap clear so that the learner does not have any surprises.
3. Add video and visual appeal to the content.
Human beings learn best from what they see. Video will contribute to the memorability of the course. It drives the learnings home in a much stronger way and makes your eLearning program more engaging.
If you are translating a course created in English for Japanese learners, make sure you adapt the video well for them. All on-screen text will need to be translated. Any text which remains in the original language on the screen is an irritant for the viewer. This is why it’s best to not hard-code images with text on the screen.
Also, use appealing colors and themes to catch the learner’s attention. When localizing the course for Japanese learners, ensure that the colors and themes you are using is acceptable to them socially and culturally and is relevant to them.
4. Make it interactive.
Learning happens best when the learner and the teacher are able to interact with each other. It is especially important to build interactivity in online learning as it happens devoid of direct, human interaction. Bring in interactive elements such as quizzes, navigation elements, fun facts, and more to hold the learner’s interest.
5. Gamify, Gamify, Gamify.
Japanese learners will be quick to latch on to the learning modules, if you gamify the content, as there is a strong gaming culture in Japan. It makes learning more fun and less monotonous. It works very well in corporate eLearning, as it adds more interactivity, and lets learners compare their scores on the leaderboard.
6. Include all types of learners.
Your online course must be easily accessible to learners who may have difficulty in reading or hearing. Include transcripts for all audio and video content in the course. Provide for different font sizes and printable PDFs.
7. Write content in plain language.
This will make eLearning translation go easier. The concepts are laid out in clear language, leaving no room for confusion or complication. Readers can focus on the content, find what they want to learn, and achieve their objective quickly.
It also makes the text brief and avoids putting loads of text on the screen that could be tedious to read through.
8. Make room for updates.
Any type of learning content may need to be updated and revised over time. In some industry sectors, updates are more frequent, such as pharmaceutical and medical-related content.
Create a process which makes it hassle-free to update the content and roll it out for translation. You might have to keep the content in small chunks or byte-size pieces so that they can be easily updated. Use tools that provide revision history, so you can revert to a previous revision, if required.
9. Review your content.
Errors in content are not tolerated well by Japanese learners. Before you publish your course, review it in detail with the help of an independent set of reviewers. They must not only look for errors in the text, but looks for any technical bugs as well. Create a streamlined process for review, so that reviewers can record different types of issues they find, and the person concerned knows what action to take.
Work with a veteran language services company to effectively adapt your eLearning content to a Japanese audience. It will save you from a lot of re-work and delay, and your learners will enjoy the quality experience.