3 Trends Transforming eLearning Course Design

3 Trends Transforming eLearning Course Design
Summary: From attention demand economy to inclusive eLearning course content, experts weigh in on trends impacting training and learning development programs.

Designing Modern eLearning Courses That Resonate

Modern digital education is moving toward a more collaborative and inclusive approach. A perfect example is how companies are offering engaging multilingual eLearning content to reach global audiences. If you want your business to keep up with the rapidly changing eLearning landscape, you need to know the latest trends impacting and shaping digital training and education. This article covers 3 trends that are transforming eLearning course design.

1. On-Demand, Consumable Content

Video-based and interactive content is more fun and easier to consume, being, thus, a great content type for eLearning. You risk boring your audience if you stick to traditional course content formats with unexciting, long blocks of texts and static images. Below are some points companies should consider when designing modern eLearning courses:

Instant Access To Materials And Information

Accommodate the current generation's inclination toward instant gratification by ensuring your eLearning courses are easy to access. Providing, let's say, German subtitles or dubbing for your English-language tutorial videos is one way of providing instant access. eLearners can turn on the subtitles with a few clicks, and they can quickly access your content in their preferred language. Providing instant access to content isn’t just practiced in the eLearning space. Many streaming platforms are finding worldwide success since users can watch shows that aren't in their native language and easily switch on subtitles or dubbed versions in their preferred languages. “It really shows that great stories when coupled with great localization they really can find massive audiences,” commented Chris Fetner, managing director, Entertainment Globalization Association (EGA) at Welocalize’s Let’s Go Summit [1].

Consumable Content

According to research by McKinsey & Company, there is more than 10 billion active Internet of Things (IoT) devices [2]. They estimate that the number of active IoT devices will surpass 25.4 billion by 2030. This rapid growth will only lead to more people opting for faster and easier ways to consume content because of the massive amount of information available on the internet. In eLearning, this translates to learners preferring captivating tutorial videos on YouTube, for instance, over simple, boring, text-based content and static images, which take more time and effort to consume. The name of the game is to deliver on-demand, easy-to-consume content that goes beyond text and images to engage learners effectively. This includes creating brief and digestible, yet informational, videos featuring experts in your specific course topic or field. Instead of a two-hour-long video, consider breaking down your content into smaller 20 to 30-minute lessons and making modules for each session.

Growing Number Of Platforms

As eLearning continues to evolve, the number of digital education platforms will also keep growing. This makes it easier to distribute your learning content across channels. However, one challenge arising from this is the seamless management of your content distribution and delivery through multiple channels. The key is to have a centralized platform that allows you to deliver and distribute your content efficiently from one location. For instance, you can move your digital education materials to the cloud. This allows your course creators and learners easy access to your content, even via mobile devices.

Attention Economy

There are 3 common challenges that eLearning course creators contend with:

  • Ensuring their content stands out from competitors
  • Getting the biggest share of the commodity
  • Holding their audience’s attention

The solution? Make your content educational, entertaining, and informative. If you want to achieve this on a global scale, you’ll need to localize your content. After all, your content could be highly engaging, however, without translation and localization, you’re not likely to get your content across to your international target audiences.

2. Diversity And Inclusion

Modern eLearning courses put a premium on providing equal learning opportunities for students across cultures and borders. This leads to a greater focus on diversity and inclusion in eLearning course materials.

Cultural And Linguistic Considerations

Some of the critical cultural and linguistic aspects to consider for ensuring inclusive eLearning course content include:

  • Using diversity, equity, and gender-inclusive language in your syllabus statements
  • Ensuring eLearning course materials reflect the diversity of perspectives, cultures, and scholars in your target audience's fields (and in their languages)
  • Finding a reliable language translation and localization provider

Localization And Translation

Localizing and translating eLearning course content is no easy feat. After all, it takes the right skills, expertise, and tools to translate and localize content from one language to another. eLearning providers should consider these points when overcoming common translation and localization challenges:

  • They take note of language expansion. Because many languages can "expand" upon translation, such as English to Russian, be sure to consider the length of the translation when integrating text boxes, audio, and graphics into your eLearning course materials.
  • They ensure the eLearning content is universal. Creating content relevant to your target audiences helps make your course material more inclusive while streamlining the translation and localization process.

3. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a crucial part in eLearning course design, particularly in translating and localizing content through machine translation (MT) and synthetic voices (among others). By using AI, course developers can convert text-based content into a more consumable audio format. Expect to see an increased demand for synthetic voices across multiple languages—many of which are extremely human-like.

Adaptive Learning

One of the most exciting developments in AI for eLearning is adaptive learning. Some platforms are starting to leverage algorithms to produce content that can easily and instantly adapt to the learner’s needs. For example, AI could make novel questions based on the learner’s goals, subject matter information, and data from previous students. This is similar to how Amazon can predict and offer suggestions and products based on your search and purchase history. AI technology can also use learner feedback to display activities aligned with the learner’s personalized learning goals. And you can use tools that leverage AI to create helpful scenarios, simulations, and learning experiences for eLearners. Additionally, AI can help eLearning course designers seamlessly enhance design practices based on how learners respond to the course content.

Leverage eLearning Tends Now

In this ever-evolving digital age, you need to ensure your online content is educational, consumable, and entertaining. Otherwise, it may never be seen. Take your eLearning course design process to the next level by working with a professional eLearning translation service provider for your multilingual multimedia needs.


[1] Let's Go Summit 2021

[2] IoT value set to accelerate through 2030: Where and how to capture it

eBook Release: Welocalize, Inc.
Welocalize, Inc.
Welocalize specializes in the language, technology platforms, and postproduction processes needed to translate and localize multimedia and global e-learning courses.