HTML5, eLearning & Mobile Devices: How They are Related to Each Other
This blog discusses how HTML has evolved; the connection among HTML5, mobile devices, and eLearning; and some design considerations for mobile devices.
Many organizations want to deploy online courses to mobile devices, as HTML5 became the standard in the web and eLearning domain. Flash is not a viable option for mobile learning as many mobile devices don’t support it. There comes a solution in the form of HTML.
For practical solutions in eLearning, understanding the connection between the growing popularity of HTML5 and proliferation of mobile devices is important. As training and eLearning professionals, you look at ways to move online courses onto mobile devices in order to reach your learners more effectively.
So let’s see how HTML5, mobile devices, and eLearning are related; and look at some design considerations for mobile devices.
Early Days of HTML
Software companies used various programming languages and standards to share the information in the initial days of Internet or the World Wide Web (WWW). They used Telnet, Gopher and the early HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) for publishing various forms of content on the web.
Each company which produced decoders (web browsers) and encoders (Web page editors), used different standards to determine how to decode or encode the messages. HTML has evolved as a dominant standard in all these circumstances over a period of time and works efficiently across multiple browsers.
Plug-ins and Extensions
Plug-ins and extensions were developed to bridge the compatibility gaps. Plug-ins such as Shockwave, QuickTime, Flash & Reader became as common as add-ons to web browsers, because they render things exactly the same way on any device in any browser, so web designers preferred them because it’s much cheaper and more efficient to produce things on time.
Evolving of HTML
Like everything, the domain of web design is also evolving and improving. The most recent definition of Web page standards is HTML5, the new fifth generation of HTML supports much deeper levels of interactivity than the earlier versions. It also has better support for video, audio, animation, and interaction. Many of the things that couldn’t be done with the web page in the olden days, are now possible without using any kind of plug-in like Flash. The exciting thing is the possibility of creating more engaging content without the need for an add-on.
Considerations when Publishing HTML5 Output to Mobiles
Publishing a desktop course to HTML5 format has become essential in a multi-device world. However, to develop online courses for mobile delivery, planning from the beginning will give the desired results. To work on these issues, you need to:
1. Optimize for the Learners’ Devices
Various smartphones and tablets are compatible with different mobile browsers. Identify which browser and device your learners use to access online courses. Browsers and devices have varied capabilities to support HTML5. So, the browser and devices your learners use matter, and it’ll impact the visual appeal and the functionality of your HTML5 content.
To develop mobile learning, you have to optimize the course content for the devices most of your learners use. It’s difficult to make sure your online courses will behave consistently across all browsers and devices, for that you have to optimize your eLearning for the majority of your learners. For this, identify how well the specific device renders HTML5 output. Then find out any HTML5 limitations with that device and the browsers it supports.
2. Test on the Actual Devices
If you design eLearning content for a variety of devices, you have to do cross-device testing to make sure your online course looks and functions as intended across multiple devices. There are some emulators to test, but it’s safe to test your courses on actual mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone, or Android phones. Thorough testing of every aspect of your eLearning content on these devices gives a fair idea of how they function and rectify or make the changes wherever necessary.
After reading this blog, hope you have understood the connection among HTML5 and mobile devices and online learning. I believe the discussed considerations when publishing HTML5 output to mobile devices are useful for practical implementation.