Implementing eLearning in a Global Organization: Pitfalls, Successes, and Considerations

Implementing eLearning in a Global Organization: Pitfalls, Successes, and Considerations

Larry Asu (The Hershey Company, USA) and Marcia Perrotti ((Formerly) The Hershey Company, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3120-3.ch009

Abstract

This chapter provides a practical guide on the process of translating learning and training materials with a focus on eLearning in a corporate setting. The information shared was gained from years of experience creating learning materials for students from different cultures and countries and with different learning abilities. The translation process can be complex, particularly if there are a number of materials to translate as well as a variety of material types. Since the translation process is the last piece in the material creation process, it is important that the process run smoothly to ensure deadlines are met. This chapter provides detailed guidelines for creating and translating learning materials that assist in effective knowledge transfer to a diverse audience.
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Considerations For Creating Materials For Multiple Cultures, Skills, And Abilities

Merriam-Webster (Culture, n. d.) defines culture as behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. These behaviors and beliefs have a direct impact on a person’s approach to learning. In some cultures, education is not available to everyone; therefore, all forms of learning are valued.

Pre-requisite skills of the intended learners are also an important consideration and should not be overlooked. One particular project involved delivering eLearning to factory workers. In this case, it was critical that the learners first knew how to turn on and log into a computer, use a mouse to select content and navigate the eLearning module. A common error is to assume everyone understands basic computer operations. If computer skills are part of the educator’s lesson delivery, he or she must confirm that students have the necessary skills required to execute the lesson. Assuming and not analyzing the current learning situation may not be ideal as pointed out by Girard (2008) who stated that assumption in lieu of assessment can lead to unsuccessful results.

In addition to skill level, a learner's physical disabilities may impact the way information is read, heard, or interpreted. The US Department of Labor provides resources to organizations who hire people with disabilities (see https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/disability) . In corporate training and development, learning support may take the form of providing closed captioning video content or large print on computer screens and hard copy materials. In a quantitative quasi-experimental comparative study, Brooke (2015) discovered that students who were introduced to closed captioning and same language subtitling on television as a form of a literacy tool have a higher rate of reading achievement as compared to students who were not exposed to close captioning and same language subtitling.

Color-blindness may also prevent learners from correctly executing a task such as selecting specific colored buttons or triggers indicated in eLearning content. Ullucci and Battey (2011) noted that educators are being challenged by the consistency, urgency, and, frequency of color blindness in their students. Those needs can be easily addressed by avoiding instructions that reference specific colors. For example, in an online class, educators should refrain from instructing their students to click a red button. Instead, use shapes or numbers for interaction purposes. These scenarios validate that it is important to know the audience and account for any potential barriers to learning.

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