“No one will be using Flash…The world is moving to HTML5.” These were the words spoken by Steve Jobs, 7 years ago. He was right indeed! Flash is phasing out by 2020! Considering the fact that many eLearning courses still run on Flash, it is time developers and organizations move forward and convert their legacy courses too. The sooner, the better!
In this blog, I will discuss the answers to a few questions you might have in mind regarding the death of Flash and how exactly can you save your courses.
Let us consider a scenario where a client approaches a vendor with a few questions. The client had recently heard about the phasing out of Flash in the year 2020 and was really worried as most of their courses were Flash-based or had Flash components and they could not afford losing them. The organization wanted to know of ways to save those courses that were used to train employees on a regular basis. Let us look at a few of the questions asked.
Will my learners or business be impacted if I continue using Flash courses?
Unfortunately, yes. Since all the Flash-based courses will be outdated in a while, these courses will fail to play on most platforms, which will definitely annoy your learners. Your learners cannot have an effective learning experience. And what do you think will happen next? An overall decrease in the productivity! The only way you can save yourself from this situation is by converting these courses into an alternative output, i.e., HTML5.
What exactly is HTML5?
But what has HTML5 got to do with eLearning? Why should I convert my Flash-based courses to HTML5?
The real question is why not convert to HTML5! Let me give you a few reasons it is time your organization embraces HTML5.
- Unlike the Flash player, HTML5 does not need third-party plugins to view content across browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Safari, Chrome, and hence is much more flexible. This way, your employees can access courses easily without any interruptions.
- HTML5 facilitates playing eLearning course content on all mobile devices such as smartphones, iPhones and iPads. Now, don’t you think your employees would actually like the idea of learning on their own devices rather than the desktop?
- HTML5 gives a very rich multimedia experience compared to Flash.
- Considering that Flash has security issues, and you having an option not to face those threats by converting to HTML5, you definitely should convert.
In what ways will converting from Flash to HTML5 benefit my employees?
- First and foremost, accessing eLearning courses will get a lot easier for your learners now as they can access it on the device they prefer rather than just accessing on desktops, as the output delivered is a responsive one.
- Since HTML5 courses provide responsive output, they reach a wider audience, enlarging the learning culture.
- The courses you deliver can be tailored according to learners’ needs. Do you want to add dynamic interactions and animations? Do you want a game-based course or maybe a scenario-based course? HTML5 makes all these customizations easy for you.
- You can provide performance support or just-in-time learning using microlearning.
How will Flash to HTML5 conversion benefit my organization?
- Since HTML5 provides responsive output, eLearning courses will be made available to learners as and when they need to. This will build a strong learning culture in your organization. The more they learn, the higher the productivity gets.
- An increase in productivity will definitely offer long term benefits to the organization and have a positive effect on the ROI.
- HTML5 courses are easier to develop and easier to maintain too. Thus, the cost of development and maintenance will drastically reduce in your organization.
How do you plan for an HTML5 conversion?
- Collect all existing Flash-based courses.
- Organize courses based on the availability of source files and relevant content.
- Evaluate the available resources and formulate an action plan depending on the priorities of the courses.
- Plan the conversion strategy.
What are the possible options I have to convert to HTML5?
You basically have four options. They are:
Record – The first option you have is to Record, in which your existing courseware will be played and recorded using a screen capture program, like Camtasia. This method can be chosen if the course is self-running and has low level interactivities. This can also be chosen if the source files are either unavailable or unusable.
Republish – The second option you have is to Republish, in which courses developed in the older versions of a tool are quickly upgraded to a newer version of the same tool to deliver an HTML5 output.
Rebuild – The third option you have is Rebuild, where your courses that have been developed in an obsolete software will be redeveloped using a new authoring tool which will provide an HTML5 output.
Redesign – The fourth option you have is to Redesign in which the entire course will be developed from the scratch as the content has to be updated or the course has to be improved instructionally. This is done with the assistance of authoring tools such as Adobe captivate or Lectora inspire, which will eventually provide an HTML5 output.
An additional benefit of converting your legacy courses using these options is that, the output will also be SCORM/AICC, Tin Can compliant, which will allow the organization to launch the courses on their LMS too.
What about the time taken for the conversion processes?
This depends on the type of conversion a course might require. If you want to redesign your course from scratch, the time taken will be longer but if it is just rebuild, then it will not take too long.
What are the tools that facilitate HTML5 conversions?
Developing courses using authoring tools has in fact completely transformed the training scenario. With the use of these tools, eLearning development has become a lot simpler and easier. Conversions too! The four major tools that facilitate eLearning conversions are: Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, Lectora Inspire and iSpring.
I hope most of your questions regarding Flash to HTML5 conversions have been answered in this blog. Convert your Flash-based courses, and convert them soon! It is time every single organization moves forward and takes advantage of HTML5 to the full.