Organizations worldwide are looking at migrating their legacy Flash course to HTML5 to support mobile learning. In this article, I outline what are your options and how you can maximize the impact of your migration budget.
Till a few years ago, Flash was pretty much the default authoring tool to offer online courses. As a result, organizations across the world have a significant investment in legacy courses based on Flash.
Since Flash does not support mobile devices, there is a need for you to plan the migration of your select legacy courses to HTML5.
This investment on migration of legacy courses to HTML5 is necessary to unlock your existing investment. Further gains associated with this exercise are:
As you plan for the migration of legacy courses to mobile learning or you embark on creation of Responsive or Mobile-friendly eLearning, you can choose from two approaches:
These reflect the more commonly available design approach (Adaptive learning) adopted to design mLearning courses. The designs feature multi–device support. However, they still map to the way learners use the laptops/desktops. This approach does extend seamlessly to tablets. However, in smartphones, this approach works only in the landscape mode. When viewed in the portrait mode, you will see a blank space as the design shrinks to a viewable area.
Although, the online courses work across all devices, it is important to note that the learner interactions in this approach are not necessarily aligned to the way we use our mobile devices.
Tip: One of the most popular authoring tool Articulate Storyline 3/360 creates an output in this category. Other two popular authoring tools are dominKnow Claro and iSpring.
In contrast, the Responsive or Mobile–first designs are optimized to run on the smartphones. This is then extended to tablets and laptops or desktops.
This approach not only features a completely responsive design approach (wherein the content adapts dynamically to a viewable area); its significant difference lies in the interactions that mimic the way we use our mobile devices.
Tip: There are two streams of authoring tools that you can use to create a Responsive or Mobile-friendly eLearning output in this category.
NOTE: You can also opt for Custom HTML5 frameworks that too offer true Responsive or Mobile-friendly eLearning designs.
Let me share a couple of examples to highlight the differences between the two approaches.
However, as you will notice, the design shrinks in the portait mode of the smartphone.
Furthermore, the learning interactions are not necessarily optimized for mobile devices. Instead, they are designed to provide a multi-device support.
Additionally, the interactions map closely to the way we use smartphones.
The exercise of migration from Flash to HTML5 must not be about technology uplift alone (that is, converting Flash courses to merely open as HTML5 courses).
Instead, you can use this opportunity to redesign your courses that leverage the ways learners use their mobile devices. This approach will create a more engaging learning experience and create the desired impact (sticky learning) that you seek.
You can use this opportunity in the following three ways:
Approach 1: Use techniques that engage and motivate learners better
Approach 2: Use formats that are different from the more traditional ones
Approach 3: Go beyond formal training and engage the learner in a learning journey
The need to migrate your legacy Flash courses to HTML5 provides a great opportunity window to create Responsive or Mobile-friendly eLearning designs that will resonate better with your learners.
I hope this article provides the required cues on the techniques you can use during migration to HTML5 to create higher engagement, better completion rates and a more sticky learning experience. If you need any specific support or have any queries, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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