Key Takeaways from Learning 2015

LT2015_masie_crowdElliot Masie’s Learning 2015 event hosted over 2,000 learning colleagues from all over the world. As an engagement sponsor, Welocalize took part in many discussions about the global learning industry and the evolving role of localization.

One of the common themes at the Elliot Masie Learning 2015 event was what IS learning? How do we learn today and in the future? How do we maximize learning experiences and optimize learning content to reach global audiences with varied needs and abilities?

Learning has evolved so much over the years. It no longer takes place just in the classroom. People can learn 24/7, using their handheld devices and by watching TED talks viewed on YouTube in the comfort of their own home. Many of the presentations and discussions at Learning 2015 focused on answering two questions: HOW do we learn? WHERE do we learn? To make learning relevant and available to a wide, multilingual and global audience, localization is a key element in the overall learning strategy.

HOW do we learn? Learning has become more informal. Instead of attending lengthy lectures, students tend to prefer shorter, precise snippets of learning content. There is an increase in the “flip classroom” model – where students typically view a short video before the class session, then the main session can be more focused on interactive discussions and learning exercises. Multimedia has shifted the way we learn. Video is increasingly being used to convey content. To enable all content to be understood by a wide, multilingual audience, the various ways of localizing learning content have to be adapted to the learning content. Some learning content must be localized to a very high standard – videos localized using accurately dubbed voice-overs and new actors. Or alternatively, for lower impact learning content, new techniques like text-to-speech can be deployed to save time and money. Growth in mobile technologies has also impacted how we learn and therefore for learning organizations, how they develop content and user experience. Smartphones and tablets are carried with us at all times and students can now take quizzes and exercises while on the bus home from work or college. To reach a wide audience, learning content has to be developed and tested for multiple platforms, in multiple languages.

WLT2015_monique_sabrina_kayHERE do we learn? EVERYWHERE! Many learners can now learn entirely at home. The growth of the interest and content distribution channels, like YouTube, has enabled learning content to be brought directly to the student. If you watch 15 minutes of TED talks a day, you can amass a huge amount of knowledge about a particular subject. As Sabrina Kay covered in her keynote presentation at Learning 2015, “Life-long learning is a movement, we do it every day, everywhere.”

Continuous access to knowledge materials is great for learning organizations. With more students accessing materials, from anywhere, at any time, it’s a continual process. Content has to be developed appropriately and made available on all platforms to enable students to access the right content for them on the right platform.

There are many differences in the way we learn across cultures and countries. As learning techniques continue to evolve, so must the role of localization. It is key for Chief Learning Officers to have a learning vision and strategy that includes globalization and localization.

I met with many learning experts and colleagues at Learning 2015 and discussed many different approaches to localizing learning and educational materials. If you would like to learn more about reaching a global audience, then please send me an email


Based in San Francisco, Monique Nguyen is Regional Enterprise Sales Director at Welocalize.

You can read more in our latest white paper, Ready Your Learning Content for Localization to Save Money and Improve Experience.