In our previous post on the impact of HTML5 on businesses in the view of Flash going obsolete, we outlined the 4 ‘R’s of conversion organizations looking to migrate can avail of. The choice will depend on several factors such as the availability of source files, level of difficult involved in learning the topic, the amount of user interaction, and more. This post, the first in a series of four, will talk of the basic level of conversion – Record.
Imagine an organization that has been using simple presentation-style courses such as lectures by experts or self-running courses on products, for training their sales representatives since the past few years. With employees having to travel, it has become almost impossible to train them in a classroom, or through lengthy e-learning courses. The organization has now decided to train their employees on their mobile devices itself.
Considering that a majority of their employees use iPhones and iPads, there is a problem. Most of their training was PowerPoint decks (PPT) converted to Flash animations (.swf). With Flash becoming obsolete and most browsers and mobile devices not supporting Flash content, it seems like a task beyond the bounds of possibility. How would the organization get back to training its employees?
THE ‘RECORD’ CONVERSION METHODOLOGY
In the above scenario, the problem faced by the organization was the inability of learners to access Flash-based courses. The major reason training is disrupted in many organizations is due to the blocking of Flash content by a majority of mobile devices and browsers. If an organization is facing the same problem, the solution is pretty simple. So all they need to do is convert the current training content into HTML5, which will help them restart the training effectively.
In the Record conversion methodology, the existing courseware will be played and recorded using a screen capture program, such as Camtasia, which will provide an MP4 output. This can be uploaded to an LMS, making it accessible across all devices.
WHEN TO OPT FOR THE ‘RECORD’ CONVERSION METHODOLOGY?
In Flash to HTML5 conversions, one can opt for the ‘Record’ conversion methodology under three circumstances:
- When there is no significant user interaction: When the existing courses are self-running, without any interactive elements, and all learners have to do is sit back and watch the course, this method is appropriate.
- When the level of learning difficulty is low: According to Bloom’s levels in the cognitive domain, the simple recall or recognition of facts is the lowest level. When the main objective of the training is just to help learners remember and recall basic facts and understand basic concepts, this method can definitely be used to develop an effective eLearning output.
- When there are no source files: If the original source files are either unavailable or unusable, record methodology is indeed the right choice. Having source files will make the conversion easy as all media elements, text, and other resources will be available and updating becomes easy.
However, you may not always have the source files, especially if these legacy courses were developed by various vendors/teams over a large period of time. There are workarounds to extract content and other elements from such courses, in the absence of source files. Vendors with expertise in e-learning design and development will be able to help with this, using the templating capabilities of authoring tools.
THE TOOLS USED FOR THE PROCESS
A wide variety of screen capturing tools available in the market today enable the successful creation of videos. These tools support the feature to record audios and voiceovers. Once the screen is recorded and saved, the final output can then be uploaded on your LMS. It thus becomes ready to be accessed by your learners. A few of these tools are:
- Adobe Captivate
- Articulate Storyline
What if your Flash courses don’t meet these specific requirements? Stay tuned for the next post that outlines the second method of Flash to HTML5 legacy e-learning conversion.