ELearning Models for Global Companies: Which One Is Right For You?

Category: Multimedia

ELearning comes in various flavors and with its own benefits and challenges. When deploying eLearning globally, which one is right for you? Our rundown may help you decide:

Computer-based training (CBT), sometimes called courseware, refers to linear, self-paced learning activities delivered on a computer, and is like reading an online book or manual. CBT is best used to teach static processes, such as using software. Learners are held accountable for what they learn and how they apply it to their job functions.


  • Requires less time and classroom training, sometimes reducing training time by up to 60% per learner
  • Learning can be customized to focus on either spoken words or reading text (or both)
  • Learners can chart their individual progress, which is more difficult in a classroom setting


  • Not the best choice for independent training that is unconnected to an application on the job. It works best when aligned with specific business objectives, and requires additional support to ensure learners can not only understand the content but can also correct any problems or misunderstandings they have along the way.

Translation considerations: Because CBT courses are static, they are a good choice if your training is generally applicable to all employees, regardless of global location or local law. If your training must be tailored to specific regions, or talk to varying cultural or legal differences, web-based training might be better (see below).

Web-based training (WBT) is the same concept as CBT but is delivered through the internet, via a web browser, or as a SaaS model. WBT is best for memorization and mental activities, but not for hands-on, job-related activities (CBT is better here).


  • Material is hosted centrally, updated instantly, and can be viewed through any standard browser
  • There is no old information available that might cause confusion
  • Delivery is essentially free (no physical creation or shipping costs)


  • Without a Learning Management System (LMS) in place, it is challenging to measure performance objectives or track progress
  • WBT requires a dedicated environment with access to a computer. Some learners may have difficulty finding time during or outside of work to complete courses.
  • Solitary learning may not be as appealing as learning in a social environment. As a result, WBT has a low completion rate.

Translation considerations: WBT can be comprised of Learning Objects based on geographical locations, applying regional, legal, and cultural changes where appropriate. There is no added charge for translation of packaging materials or international shipping costs.

Leader-led or Facilitated Online Learning can happen in a classroom environment or online, but requires an instructor to provide guidance and support.


  • High interactivity with other learners and personalized assistance from the instructor. Because the instructor provides most of the input, there is less development time.
  • Completion rate is very high due to personal follow-up.


  • Requires a skilled instructor during working hours, a special software package or license, and a low number of students per instructor in a single course. Implementation may be difficult for companies with a broad global footprint.

Translation considerations: Effective but costly. You will need to identify, hire, and train qualified local facilitators to guide the training and provide guidance/support.

More information on translation of eLearning materials can be found on our website, or take a look at our Top Ten Tips for eLearning Translation.