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International Elearning Development and Training Programs: Best Practices

 

Posted on Mon, 11/07/2016 - 11:29

International Elearning Development: Culture, Bias, Customs, Religions, and Relationships 

Delivering training to executives, managers and teams in an organization that spans the globe presents significant challenges. When building international elearning programs or serious games, there are factors that affect the organization’s ability to deliver unconscious bias training, such as culture, bias, customs, religions and relationships. The societal and cultural differences that exist should inform the development of elearning and games. Several guidelines should inform the generation of such courses, and requires careful consideration of the following factors.

 

International eLearning

Letting go of political correctness notions

While the U.S. generally embraces its culturally and ethnically diverse population, there remains division on the issue. These factors can also influence workplace dynamics and relationships. Organizations must  recognize that some countries experience discrimination in other areas, while also embracing diversity in ways the U.S. does not. For example, in Asia, elders are revered and honored. Generally speaking, workers who are older naturally earn respect; however, in some situations, there forms a divide between older and younger workers, with the latter seeing older workers as lacking the spirit of innovation.  Thus, age discrimination can differ by country.  Therefore, when developing global elearning, it is best to avoid any references to age and instead use terms such as novice or advanced or experienced or inexperienced.

In discussions, not all participants are willing ones

Differences also exist across cultures in terms of group-think versus individualism. In some cultures, self-determination is valued. In these learning environments, training modules that promote individualistic thinking and self-completing tasks are easy. However, for learners that come from a collectivist culture, where the collective ideas of the organization or group are valued over individualism, these types of assignments may prove difficult. Global elearning initiatives should take both into consideration and offer a choice of assignments that are sensitive to both learning styles. In training situations, acknowledgement of such differences is important. Creating a variety of experiences that recognize these cultural differences will help organizations to create meaning out of training exercises.

Helping training participants let go of political correctness notions, recognizing that discrimination differs by country, and understanding how trainees approach self-disclosing discussions will drive corporate training and game development success. If you need assistance on developing international elearning, please contact us today!

 

Discrimination differs by country

While the U.S. generally embraces its culturally and ethnically diverse population, there remains division on the issue. These factors can also influence workplace dynamics and relationships. Organizations must  recognize that some countries experience discrimination in other areas, while also embracing diversity in ways the U.S. does not. For example, in Asia, elders are revered and honored. Generally speaking, workers who are older naturally earn respect; however, in some situations, there forms a divide between older and younger workers, with the latter seeing older workers as lacking the spirit of innovation.  Thus, age discrimination can differ by country.  Therefore, when developing global elearning, it is best to avoid any references to age and instead use terms such as novice or advanced or experienced or inexperienced.

In bias training situations that occur abroad, employees may be receptive to discussions about language – such as differences in accent, fluency and more – as it relates to inequality and bias. As an example, Asians and Americans generally handle discussions differently. Americans assume that Asians’ lack of participation in discussions indicates that they are unwilling to contribute or help the organization. On the other hand, Asians generally take the polite stance of waiting until they’re asked to speak, which Americans see as being unwilling to take part in the conversation.

 

In discussions, not all participants are willing ones

Differences also exist across cultures in terms of group-think versus individualism. In some cultures, self-determination is valued. In these learning environments, training modules that promote individualistic thinking and self-completing tasks are easy. However, for learners that come from a collectivist culture, where the collective ideas of the organization or group are valued over individualism, these types of assignments may prove difficult. Global elearning initiatives should take both into consideration and offer a choice of assignments that are sensitive to both learning styles. In training situations, acknowledgement of such differences is important. Creating a variety of experiences that recognize these cultural differences will help organizations to create meaning out of training exercises.

Helping training participants let go of political correctness notions, recognizing that discrimination differs by country, and understanding how trainees approach self-disclosing discussions will drive corporate training and game development success. If you need assistance on developing international elearning, please contact us today!

 

By Designing Digitally, Inc.