Flash is an incredible tool that helps in developing highly interactive courses. It offers amazing flexibility to the developer in presenting content, incorporating animations, graphics and interactivities. However in order to get the most out of the Flash tool and enhance the learner experiences, the developer needs to follow some basic steps or best practices.
Let us have a look at some of the ideal ways to develop courses using the Flash tool.
1. Optimize screen size
Adjust the screen size as per the viewing area. The recommended screen size is 990 × 760 as it suits various browser dimensions.
2. Create a player movie
Then you need to create a player movie that can load the screen elements and your course. The Framework of your movie player should be designed in such a way that it supports the navigation files and the library of functions. Once you set this framework, you can reuse the elements, simplifying the development process for each eLearning course.
3. Develop a naming convention
Before you create a symbol, give it a clear name; also provide suitable names to channels on the timeline of slide. This will make it easy for you to work on the Flash file, for example, to navigate and edit.
4. Animate elements individually by placing them on different channels.
It is always recommended to create a separate channel on the timeline for each animated element even for the text. For example, if it is a text animation, like text with bullet points that plays animate at different times on the same level, you need to change it and create different layers for each bullet text. This will help us in adjusting the frames or in editing quickly.
5. Reduce graphics size
Using low-quality graphics can help in maintaining a smaller Flash file size and thus need optimization. However, instead of making changes directly in the source file, edit the files using other editing tools and import the edited files into the Flash file. This will give your images a neat look instead of a compressed look and the resulting file can be saved within executable file size/bandwidth.
6. How can we save hard drive space while working on Flash files?
Cut down unused symbols to keep your file intact and precise; you can also do this using the symbol library menu.
Choose Select Unused > select Trash sign > click on Save and Compact.
Once you are done with editing, you can publish the file. This will enable you to save your hard drive space and export a smaller file.
7. Make audio synchronization easy
Number the audio in such a way that it matches the label numbers set in the Flash timeline. And when you place the audio, place the numbered labels as well to determine when the animations should begin and when they should end. To create the animations with audio sync, this is the best way to use and you don’t have to listen audio once again.
8. Save bandwidth along with audio quality
Try to preserve bandwidth while maintaining audio quality at the same time. Make sure that you edit the audio separately (to 22Hz) and then import it into the source files.
9. Test frequently
Last but not the least, you need to frequently keep testing while developing the course. Make sure to check the complete file once you are done as this will save lot of time. And while in the process of development, it’s better to save the various versions that emerge at different stages of development.
So these are some basic aspects that developers must bear in mind or ensure while developing courses using Flash. Do share if you have any comments on the same.
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