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5 Reasons to Convert Legacy E-learning Courses Using Articulate Storyline

5 Reasons to Convert Legacy E-learning Courses Using Articulate Storyline

In eLearning, a legacy course refers to an existing online course, developed using Flash, Dreamweaver, XML/HTML and JavaScript and earlier versions of rapid authoring tools, which is unable to meet contemporary learning needs. These courses are now lurking in the dark, with no takers. In a recent survey by CommLab India, on eLearning development training needs, participants have evinced keen interest in converting their legacy courses into HTML5. Let’s now see the 3 reasons why organizations convert their legacy courses. We will also see why Articulate Storyline is the ideal tool for the conversion.

Reason 1. Legacy courses don’t work on mobile devices

The first and the most important reason for conversion of legacy courses is that they don’t work on mobile devices. The problem with eLearning courses that were developed with traditional authoring tools such as Flash or Dreamweaver is that they are not mobile compatible. However, the usage of mobiles has increased significantly in recent times.

  • According to the Forester report on mobile adoption “66% of employees now use two or more devices every day, including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. A smaller, but notable 12% percent said they now use tablets at work.
  • According to Towards Maturity, Benchmark Study 2012-2013, 70% of the organizations are planning to implement mobile learning in the next two year.

Very soon, people expect to perform all activities, through their mobile devices and this includes training as well. Organizations need to address the needs of their “mobile learners”. Therefore, companies need to repurpose their legacy eLearning courses so that they are compatible to mobile devices.

Reason 2. Translating courses into other languages is tedious

The number of companies which translate their online courses is increasing considerably.

  • 59% of participants indicated that translating their eLearning courses is important to their organisations.( Survey by CommLab India)
  • 85% of the respondents indicated that they translated their eLearning courses into nearly 10 different languages.

However, the translation process of a legacy course is tedious. For example, to translate a Flash course, you need to follow a very lengthy process. You need to extract the content, insert it on a standard template and replace the translated content into the course manually.

Reason 3. Updating content is difficult

Companies release many new products every year. It is therefore very important for them to update their courses frequently to impart effective training on new products. For example, Lenovo launched 12 products in the year 2012 in the PC segment in a span of 6 months.

To update courses that were created using HTML and JavaScript, Flash or other traditional eLearning development tools, the services of programmers are needed. Companies need to either maintain these professionals on their payroll or outsource the work of updating the courses, even if the changes involved are minor.

So, what is the solution to make these courses contemporary to contemporary audiences?

Solution: Republish or redesign to HTML5

So, how do you make your legacy courses mobile compatible. What tools can come handy, let’s see

Option 1 is you can convert your courses into HTML5 without using rapid authoring tools. However, programming skills are required for this purpose, as HTML5 code needs to be written. E-learning professionals, who do not have these skills, usually find this very hard. But, if you have programmers in your team, this option may be ideal.

Option 2 is you can convert your existing eLearning material into HTML5 using various authoring tools. These tools help in the smooth transition of your legacy training material into HTML5, retaining the interactivities that were adopted for eLearning. These are some of the popular authoring tools that we use at CommLab.

Let us see to what extent articulate storyline would be able to meet these kinds of requirements.

Reason 1: Easy Authoring reducing cost and effort 

This tool greatly reduces the cost and effort involved in course development. It offers a lot of efficiency to stakeholders who will have to balance budgets and timelines. It has in-built templates that are ready to use and the facility of the tool to add your own templates is one advantage. The second advantage is that if you have a set of interactivities you can modify them and add your own interactivities; the other plus point is that it has a multimedia support in terms of accepting videos and creating simulations.

We have a number of avatars here in various poses, expressions and clothing. And mixing and matching these avatars has given us a very rich and varied experience. We also have a pack of real photographs, all these in addition to the facility of customization of this elements will make the tool very cost effective with minimum effort so there is lot of saving here as both money and as well as effort.

Easy Authoring Reducing Cost And Effort

Reason 2: Updating courses is a simple process 

As we discussed earlier courses need to be regularly updated to meet the ever-evolving training needs of organizations. Articulate storyline tools allow you to update courses quickly and effectively. You can just open the source file, copy or edit the content. You can edit the interactivities, add new interactivities and any update you want to do is very easy with this tool.

Reason 3: Develop Flash like interactivities and games 

Storyline gives the power to design and create games easily. These are not readymade, ready-to-use games but you need to create various types of games by using features such as “triggers and variables”.

Develop Flash Like Interactivities And Games

This tool allows you to develop drag and drop interactions quickly. We can customize various built-in drag and drop interactions to visually stunning effects in this tool.
Built In Drag And Drop Interactivities

Reason 4: Multiple Device Compatibility on a Click 

One of the most useful features of storyline is the ability to publish in multiple devices like iPad and mobile phones. Articulate storyline facilitates a smooth transition to HTML5 online courses from traditional flash-based e-learning. It is capable of producing e-learning courses in Flash, HTML5 as well as iOS format from a single source. That’s an important point here, one source can be made available to multiple devices.

Articulate storyline has an Articulate Mobile Player that is an iPad app that can be used to delivers eLearning courses on iPads in the aesthetic manner.

Multiple Device Compatibility on a click

Reason 5: Ease of Translations

Coming to the translations part, for the global reach, the first point is that it is easy to export course content. Your primary course, which is developed in English, can be quickly exported into MS-word or XML format for translation. All content can be translated and it can be imported back into storyline. All your formatting is saved and it is enacted. So a lot of effort is minimized when we translate courses. What you need to do is to export or extract the content from wherever it may be, get it translated and then put it back in the word document or XML format and republish it. It then automatically takes on the new language. And when it comes to some troublesome languages like right-to-left languages like Hebrew or Arabic, or some other languages that have double-byte character sets like Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Storyline has a good solution for this. It supports right-to-left languages and it also supports DBCS which is present in Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages and makes the courses into these different languages. This one feature saves a lot of development time.

These are the reasons why Articulate Storyline is the most preferred tool, when it comes to updating existing courses. Before you embark on the conversion of your legacy course, it is better to check if your team has time to develop a Flash-like course. If not, you can design the course in-house and outsource its production to an eLearning vendor.

View eBook on Articulate Storyline for Building E-learning Courses

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