Best Practices When Migrating from Legacy Flash Courses to HTML5

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Flash is one of the most impactful multimedia software platforms on the internet. Many early users of the commercial Personal Computer used the internet via Flash, playing Flash games online or through the omnipresent Flash websites of the 90s. In this blog post, we discuss how to convert eLearning course material from Flash to HTML5.

Best Practices When Migrating from Legacy Flash Courses to HTML5

Why is Adobe Pulling the plug on Flash?

You may already know that Adobe’s plans to discontinue Flash after December 2020. This change was, in many ways, long overdue. In the past decade, several issues related to security, accessibility, and load time of the Flash plug-in has forced many companies such as Google and Mozilla to move away from Flash. Apple was the first company to entirely ban Flash from the iPhone when the device was developed. Since then, the popularity of Flash has slowly and consistently waned. As of 2017, google reports that only 17% of Chrome users have the Flash Player downloaded.

The Challenges of Converting Flash to HTML5

Converting your legacy eLearning content from Flash to HTML5 can be intimidating, especially if a lot of your courses depend on Flash elements (this is likely). It can be a time-consuming process that involves files that haven’t been touched in years. Additionally, Files could be corrupt or out of date, and the courses themselves probably need updating.

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This entire process is on a strict deadline as all major browsers will not support flash after December 2020.

The objective of this blog is to help you plan and understand what you need to do to make the conversion process effective.

1. Identify the courses that need to be converted based on priority

During the conversion, you must first identify all the Flash courses that you need to convert to HTML5 and then prioritize them. Go through your courses and identify which ones have Flash elements. Additionally, it helps to know which type of authoring tool the courses were built with. The process of conversion may differ based on which authoring tools the course was built on. Prioritizing the courses to ensure that the most important courses are converted first.

2. Identify the Assets Associated with the Courses

Flash assets such as images, text, interactivities, and animations need to be categorized. This helps to determine whether course elements and Flash assets should be re-created using authoring tools or by adding a JavaScript to make the course compatible with HTML5. Accessing the original files of the courses also makes it easier for the instructional designer and the course developer to rebuild and export it in HTML5 easily. 

This option ensures that you won’t necessarily have to rebuild the assets and instead quickly develop the course in HTML5.

3. Identify what type of Flash to HTML5 conversion for each course

Typically, after the first two steps, you will either have to rebuild the course or convert the existing content from Flash to HTML5 format. Here is what both those methods entail:

  • Rebuilding the course
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You can choose this option when you don’t have the original asset files. However, it is worth noting that legacy courses may benefit from a redesign of visual content and adding interactivity. This option requires the skills of a professional Instructional Designer.

  • Converting the existing content

Choose this option when original asset files are available and expedite the exporting to HTML5 format. This process takes less time compared to rebuilding the course. It is worth noting that this is applicable only when the original files are available and do not need to be refreshed.

Mobile responsiveness is also an important consideration when adapting to HTML5. This makes your eLearning content work just as effectively on not only stationary computers but on-the-go learning devices such as smartphones and tablets.

 4. Identify Gaps to Improve the effectiveness of your courses

The conversion from Flash to HTML5 also bodes well for many aspects of eLearning. You can use this opportunity of conversion to improve the courses. Consulting with an Instructional Designer can help to choose the parts of the course that need to be updated. Upgrading content can include better visuals, sounds, and other engaging and interactive elements — including course assessments and gamification.

The best practices listed above can help you devise a strategy to convert Flash to HTML5.  It would be best to involve an Instructional Designer as their skills and experience can help you strategize and ensure your updated courses are even more effective. At Origin, we depend on a team of over 350 eLearning professionals to make your transition smooth and hassle-free.

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