So, now the million-dollar question: What happens to your Flash courses? No, you don’t have to discard or junk them. To keep up with changing times, you just need to convert them to HTML5 format. However, this is easier said than done.
How To Achieve A Successful Flash To HTML5 Migration
Mobile technology has taken rapid strides. The leading players in the market are busy introducing newer devices with an advanced specification. The rapid advancement in mobile technology has led to a revolution in the form of operating systems, screen size, browser software, hardware specification, and mobile application.
So, Why Not Flash?
Flash can be termed as one of the most popular software preferred by developers to create games, videos, and other multimedia content. eLearning course development with Flash was also widely accepted. However, with the rapid change in mobile technology, it was getting increasingly difficult for the developers to keep up with the change since Flash-based development needs to have separate course versions for different device classes. This marked the quest of finding responsive course design methods. Which led to HTML5. HTML5 provides a more flexible and robust learning experience.
Well, Why The Hype Around Being Responsive?
A responsive course is dynamic and can change its functionalities and parameters as per the device it is played on. Which makes it easy for the developers while developing the courseware since it leads to developing a single course version that can work seamlessly across multiple devices. This also makes the courseware management easy. A responsive course also increases the accessibility quotient as employees can access it from anywhere they want, without worrying about its compatibility.
But the main question here is...
What Happens To Your Flash Courses?
There's no need to discard or get rid of them. Just convert them to HTML5 format. But you should be careful; if the right process is not followed, the course can very well lose it’s learning impact. So, let me give you a brief highlight of the conversion process that can be adapted for a quality output!
To kickstart the conversion process make sure you have the required content, media, and all supporting files. It is imperative that you have all the files handy before the conversion process. That makes the process less cumbersome, timely, and error-free. Now, extract content and media from the existing course and copy onscreen text and labels of navigational buttons in the Graphical User Interface (GUI) in an MS-Word document or a PowerPoint presentation.
An authoring tool gives you the power to create powerful learning material with less effort. It also gives you an in-depth customization of its 'look and feel' as per organization’s brand image. Authoring tools come with different features. Some can create immersive scenarios/assessments while few others can also create box interactivities. Hence, the right tool as per your organization requirements is crucial for the seamless conversion process. Some of the highly proficient tools with all the essential features are Articulate 360, Captivate, and Lectora.
Instructional Design has taken rapid strides and hence, molding your content as per the principles of the new age is inevitable. Legacy Flash-based courses are often not strong instructionally, so the need of the hour is to identify such courses and make them instructionally robust by following the right Instructional Design strategy and adult learning principle. It is suggested you use learning methods such as the scenario-based learning, exploration and discovery, game-based content etc. However, it is solely dependent on the course content.
Interactivities add immense value to your eLearning content as it is the closest simulation to the engagement a teacher brings to a classroom session. Flash had the ability to produce those rich interactivities. So, make sure when you convert your Flash courses, these interactivities don’t get wasted and that they can be recreated without much of programming knowledge. To make your eLearning content more appealing, add interactive stories, interactive videos, game-based content etc.
Quality checks are important because they ensure a better learning experience by picking up on any minor inconsistencies. Before the grand release, it is also imperative that you do a test run on your team with a prototype. I must also add that if you have used popular authoring tools such as Storyline 360, Adobe Captivate, or Lectora they will ensure that your converted courses run smoothly.
These are few highlights from the process of converting legacy Flash-based courses to HTML5. However, it is always suggested to seek assistance from an experienced vendor.
About the author:
Anirban Chakravarty is a Manager- Learning Platforms & Course-ware Services at Conscience Information Technologies, a custom eLearning solutions provider serving customers across the globe. Anirban has 6+ years of experience in training, eLearning, Digital Marketing, Sales & Marketing
Conscience Information Technologies is a full services eLearning and education technology company. We work with Education, Training and Learning & Development teams within the Academic, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry in all areas of learning (design, content, technology and consulting).