Global LMS 101: Learning Management for Global Companies

October 27, 2022
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Are you wondering whether a learning management system (LMS) can help your global company?
An LMS is essential when you need to roll out training initiatives and learning content internationally. It doesn't matter whether you are delivering the eLearning to employees, to customers, or both. Your LMS provides a centralized space where you can coordinate all your training and manage learning content in various languages.
What do you need to know when you are distributing your learning content internationally?
Will your LMS need any specific features to handle multilingual content?
In this article, we'll take a closer look at what you need to succeed with global eLearning and how the right LMS can benefit your business…

What every global company needs to know about learning management

As a global company, your eLearning initiatives have a wide reach — much wider than those competitors that only operate in your local market.
You may have learners in many countries, speaking various languages, with a range of experience and knowledge. These people might go through the training together, using different localized versions of the same eLearning content.
Thanks to modern eLearning technology, it's now possible to roll out your training initiatives to thousands of people simultaneously worldwide.
This can be hugely beneficial. But it also presents some challenges.
How can you make sure that everyone has access to the same quality of eLearning experience regardless of their location and language?
One vital tool is your LMS.

What does it mean to have a "global LMS?"

A learning management system (LMS) is a software for storing, managing, and delivering learning content. For global eLearning, this content can be in various languages so you can better serve your international markets.
There is no such category of software called "global LMS." Most good LMS software platforms can handle content in multiple languages simultaneously. However, you can improve your eLearning experience for everyone by thinking about your LMS in terms of your global reach.
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As a global company, it helps to use your LMS software as a hub to centralize all of your learning materials and resources. This allows your learners to access the same eLearning content wherever they are in the world.
A key feature you should look for in your LMS is the ability to detect the learner's language — either automatically or manually — and serve them the correct version of the content for that language.

7 benefits of using an LMS with localized content

If you want your global learners to engage with your eLearning content, it's a great idea to localize that content into their language.
Some benefits of using an LMS with localized content are:
  1. personalized learning experience — Your LMS can help you target your content to the specific needs of your learners, improving their engagement with the teaching. Such preferences can include their location, language, and even personal preferences.
  2. Saves time and money — Localizing content can be a time-consuming and costly process if you don't approach it efficiently. Using an LMS with a streamlined localization workflow can help you save both time and money.
  3. Reaches a wide audience easily — With an LMS, you can publish eLearning content across the world in seconds. This helps you deliver training content more quickly.
  4. Builds trust with global learners — By localizing your eLearning content, you show the learners in your international markets that you are committed to their needs by communicating in their native languages. This creates a more positive experience with your company.
  5. Creates a competitive advantage — Providing a centralized repository of localized eLearning content also helps you create and maintain a competitive advantage. It helps you to outshine competitors that don't offer localized eLearning.
  6. Provides insights into learner performance — Your LMS should provide functionality to track and analyze the performance of your international learners. This can help you improve your eLearning content to suit the unique needs of your markets.
  7. Helps meet compliance requirements — Many international markets require you to provide training on some topics for legal compliance. An LMS can help you centralize this training and ensure everyone has received the necessary material.
Overall, using an LMS with properly localized content can be a valuable tool for global companies like yours. With the right workflow in place, you can ensure that all learners have the same high-quality learning experience, wherever they are in the world.

Common challenges when managing localized eLearning content

As with most software tools, using an LMS is not a "plug and play" experience — you can't just start using the tool with no setup.
There are some common challenges that eLearning teams face when they try to manage localized content in an LMS.
Here are 3 common challenges and some ideas for solutions:

Managing different versions of eLearning content

When you create localized content, you need to manage different versions of your eLearning course materials. This can be a challenge, as it's easy for one language version to go out of sync with all the others.
It's good practice to only ever change one language version of each eLearning course — usually the English version — and then propagate these changes to the other languages through your translation provider.
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Copy-pasting content for translation

Many companies avoid localizing eLearning content purely because they think it involves a lot of manual work. They assume they will have to manually copy-and-paste all the content to send to the translation provider… because this is how most people perform translations.
Make sure you are working with a translation provider that can handle your eLearning content in its original format. This reduces the work you have to do and also reduces the chance for errors.

Serving the right content to the right person

A core requirement when you are handling any localized eLearning content is that your learners will receive the content in the right language. You might be uncertain how you can achieve this reliably.
Most good LMS platforms will include functionality to serve different versions of a course to people accessing the platform in different languages. Before you purchase an LMS, make sure that it can handle multiple languages with ease.

How to start improving your global LMS workflow

A LMS is only one part of your workflow. While it's very important that you choose the right LMS platform, there are other steps that will have more impact on your ability to create quality eLearning content for your global learners.
One step is to have a clear global content strategy.

Best Practices for Online Learning Localization

In this report, we share our best practices for writing, designing, and translating high-quality online learning material cost-effectively. Technology advances have made it easier than ever to create high-quality online learning courses, but translating instructional content can still be prohibitively expensive if it is not authored with localization in mind.