Flash- an online course development tool that was the uncrowned king of the e-learning world. For years, this product from Adobe helped unleash the creativity of e-learning developers. They relied on this highly flexible software to create stunning animations and facilitate complex learning interactions. It seemed that the reign of Flash would never end.
Despite its abilities, Adobe Flash suffers a major limitation – incompatibility with most modern mobile platforms. This makes it unsuitable to develop courses intended for delivery on smartphones and tablets. A new technology was needed to cater the web-based learning needs of companies in the mobile age.
The technology-enabled learning development community soon found the solution – HTML5, the latest web technology paradigm. HTML5 runs smoothly on all devices, including the latest mobiles. We will now look at the process to convert a Flash-based legacy e-learning course to the HTML5 format, and give it a new lease of life.
Steps to Migrate a Flash-based Online Course to the HTML5 Format
Step 1: Gather source files and extract content
The conversion will be quick if you have the source files of the Flash-based learning material. If you don’t have them, at least get the published files. You can download the published files from the LMS. These will help you extract the content and convert it to the mobile-compatible HTML5 format.
Step 2: Choose a development team
You can decide whether to use your internal development team (if available) or select an external team to outsource the migration of the legacy web-based learning content to HTML5.
Step 3: Zero-in on the right authoring tool
You need to choose an authoring tool based on the content of the legacy e-learning course. For instance, if the course is scenario-based, then Articulate Storyline is the right tool for conversion. However, to convert a simulation-based online software training material, Adobe Captivate can be used. It is also important to consider the course loading time, and the audio and video capabilities of the authoring software, before making a decision.
Step 4: Create alternatives for GUI and interactivities of the legacy course, if required
It may not be always possible to recreate the GUI of the legacy Flash-based course in HTML5. Likewise, some interactivities developed in Flash cannot be replicated in HTML5. In such cases, you need to come up with alternatives.
Step 5: Identify and pick the right templates to develop interactivities and assessments
Templates facilitate rapid and cost-effective conversion of legacy e-learning content to the HTML5 format. The job of an instructional designer is made simple by the use of templates, as they provide the required framework for designing the converted online course. Furthermore, templates can be modified to make the course look unique.
Step 6: Develop a prototype mirroring the actual course
It’s time to develop a prototype of the HTML5 course. Ensure the prototype contains all design and technical elements of the course. This goes a long way in providing a clear idea of how the course would look, when it is fully created. Any improvements and alterations needed, can be identified at a very early stage, and modifications can be made rapidly.
Step 7: Send the prototype to the stakeholder for his approval
Once the prototype is created, submit it to the stakeholder. The stakeholder may approve the prototype or ask for changes to be made. In the latter case, incorporate the desired changes to the prototype and submit it for the final approval. Getting the approval from stakeholders is very important because they are to be assured that the conversion of the legacy course to HTML5 would meet their requirements.
Step 8: Create the course and publish it to HTML5
After getting the stakeholder’s approval, proceed to develop the “full course” and publish it to the HTML5 format, using the rapid authoring tool finalized in Step 3.
Step 9: Conduct a quality check of the course and submit it to the stakeholder
After the course has been published, it is essential to verify that it has met all quality parameters. Once the quality checks have been completed and the course is found to conform to all quality parameters, hand it over to the stakeholders. This completes the conversion of the legacy Flash-based course into HTML5.
Thus, you can migrate your legacy online course, developed in Flash, to the HTML5 format. Hope you found the post useful. Do share your views.