For nearly a quarter-century, eLearning developers have been creating interactive content using Flash and ActionScript. On December 31st, 2020, Adobe officially retired the once-dominant technology. As a learning and development (L&D) professional, you may be asking yourself, now what? What happens to all those hours of Flash eLearning now seemingly locked inside a dead technology?
One solution is to convert Flash to HTML5.
In the aftermath, you first face the daunting task of finding another solution. Then the real fun begins. You will need to convert your library of Flash-based eLearning and do it quickly! The alternative is to scrap it all and start over. For most of us, we will have no such luxury.
Fortunately, HTML5 is a powerful option that can solve many of your problems. But is Flash to HTML5 right for you? I will start by examining the benefits of HTML5. Then I will give you 3 quick-fix solutions you can use right now.
Flash eLearning to HTML5?
So what is HTML5 and can it really replace Flash? Will I be able to convert ALL of my Flash eLearning assets?
HTML5 is a markup language used to structure and present web-based content. HTML5 has not only become the future of the internet as a whole, but it has also completely changed the way eLearning developers are building the next generation of interactive training. Due to some similarities, converting Flash to HTML5 is not as difficult as you might think.
Like Flash, HTML5 boasts support for many advanced features. For example, it supports audio, video, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and other multimedia file types. Similar to ActionScript, HTML5 can render dynamic, scriptable bitmaps using the canvas element. There is also one key advantage over Flash. HTML5 content is cross-platform compatible so it can display on desktops, smartphones, and tablets.
Other HTML5 benefits include:
- Compatibility with all modern browsers
- Render content without browser plug-ins
- Output small files with minimal memory consumption
- Support for the Responsive Web Design (RWD)
- Multimedia friendly utilizing widely adopted, open-source standards
- Does not require expensive software and tools to build
3 Quick Fix Solutions
Now that you have a better understanding of what HTML5 can do, here are three quick-fix ways to convert Flash to HTML5.
- Convert to video. If you have essential Flash courses with minimal interactivity, this solution might work. Start by converting these courses to videos, then publish them in your Learning Management System (LMS). This quick, relatively simple solution allows the courses to still be readily available while you rebuild them more robustly using the full power of HTML5.
- Extract & reassemble Flash to HTML5. For more interactive, business-critical Flash courses a more involved quick fix may be the right choice. For this solution, start by extracting the original assets from the source Flash files. Next, quickly reassemble your course using an HTML5 rapid authoring tool.
- Rebuild Flash eLearning in HTML5. If the size of your eLearning catalog is manageable, rebuilding your courses might be the best option. Starting from scratch, you can utilize a universal template that loads content externally. This solution is a more complete, yet still, semi-quick Flash to HTML5 fix. It dynamically loads assets at run time instead of embedding them in source files. The more traditional method of embedding assets can lead to a reliance on expensive HTML5 authoring tools. Keeping assets external of the core architecture also has the added benefit of simplifying updates.
Does your team lack the bandwidth? Or maybe you have more projects than people? If so you might consider hiring a consultant with the expertise you need. TrainingPros specializes in custom eLearning development. Our award-winning content creation team can provide eLearning experts to handle everything from content conversion to the development of custom eLearning templates. We can even build dynamic, single-source HTML5 based solutions.
In the post Flash era, HTML5 is quickly proving to be a viable alternative. You should now have a better understanding of HTML5 and what it offers. As well I covered several possible quick-fix options for converting Flash eLearning to HTML5. By no means are these the only solutions. HTML5 is like a wide-open highway, you just have to decide which direction your headed and go!