For nearly over two decades, Adobe Flash had been the quintessential tool for eLearning course designers to develop text-heavy eLearning content, multimedia elements, and a nascent version of ‘gamification’. Flash was the ultimate choice owing to its powerful technology that transformed interactive content, pushing other formats like RealAudio, RealVideo, etc., forever.
So today, in this blog, let’s find out what exactly happened to Flash, what kind of accessibility and modernity HTML5 brings to eLearning, and why it is so beneficial to convert Flash to HTML5. Let’s start!
What’s the issue with Flash?
So what happened to Flash? It all started back in 2005, when the year saw its gradual waning. The first blow came from Apple developers who realized Flash consumes excessive battery life, which was detrimental to their newly launched iPhone. Thus, Apple stopped supporting Flash on its devices. YouTube quickly followed suit and adapted HTML5, the most common web language currently.
Eventually, Google entirely stopped its compatibility with Flash-based content due to its unsuitability for most browsers and made HTML5 the by-default display option for web content. Thus, several companies that once integrated Flash into their sites, switched to HTML5.
And finally, in 2020, Adobe announced that it was phasing out Flash, making it non-existent. This paved the way for several software and ITES companies to adopt newer technologies. Especially those in the eLearning sector who had to reach the masses with its multimedia-based online courses. As most of the authoring tools support HTML5 output, the only option that remains for online course developers is to convert to HTML5.
10 reasons why Flash to HTML5 conversion is the best for eLearning courses
Well, there’s not much to be debated regarding the merits of converting Flash to HTML5 in eLearning courses; the reasons are plenty. Not only does HTML5 bring modernity to online course content, but it also runs on several devices, allowing seamless accessibility. That’s probably one of the many reasons why it is supported by so many rapid authoring HTML5 tools.
Let’s check out the enormous benefits of converting your old Flash content into HTML5!
This is perhaps the main driving force behind the obsolescence of Adobe Flash and the adoption of HTML5 by most content creators. Flash-based content was majorly incompatible with smartphones; given the complete supremacy mobile devices have on us now, most online content are accessed through smartphones instead of desktops or PCs.
Online learners do the same and check out eLearning modules on their phones or tabs. Hence, it is a dire need for course developers, to adopt a technology compatible with mobile devices that allows touch-based sensory options like zoom-in, zoom-out, tap, swipe left and right, etc. HTML5 provides all of these functionalities and more.
HTML5 allows the creation of engaging, responsive content
Not only being compatible with mobile devices, HTML5 also allows for seamless responsiveness, i.e., the onscreen content adjusts and flows according to the size of the screen on which it is being viewed. This requires no scrolling or zooming in while accessing the content.
This helps in faster loading times for multimedia elements like audios, images, and videos. Course modules can also be broken into smaller units with engaging navigation to create a more immersive user experience.
Complex interactivities can be replaced by minimal ones
With Flash, it was immensely easy for developers to integrate various types of interactions within the courses, most of which were redundant and hampered the loading time.
Also, too many interactivities create distractions that hinder knowledge retention, especially for younger students, who anyway have a relatively short attention span. With the latest HTML5 technology, these irrelevant Flash-based interactivities can be replaced with much simpler, minimal, and intuitive ones that engage the users better.
HTML-based authoring software such as Paradiso, Podia, LearnDash, have in-built features like drag-and-drop module builder, SCORM-(Sharable Content Object Reference Model) compliance, SWF file support, triggers and notifications, flexible question display, course variables, and more that are interactive, as well as create more engagement.
Lower production expenses
One can keep the bottom line low with HTML5 conversion. Developers can write a single batch of codes to convert SWF files to HTML5 across all platforms; creating native app codes is not required, which in turn saves development and production costs.
This cross-platform, single-code acceptance is the biggest beauty of HTML5. Writing platform-specific codes is not only cumbersome but also way expensive since expert coders are required for the job, along with numerous testings. With HTML5, all these OPEX get significantly reduced.
Quick and convenient multi-language translation
HTML5 conversion allows seamless language translations in a quick and hassle-free way, amplifying the reach of the courses. Thus, several corporate organizations with a diverse workforce leverage HTML5 for their corporate training modules.
These modules can be developed in one particular language and then translated into multiple international languages across varying geographical borders as per the end user’s requirements.
Courses without source files can be retained
In case the original source files of a set of modules are missing during HTML5 conversion, these can be converted into MP4 format, which is accessible by all devices. The existing course can be recorded with an in-built screen capture application in MP4 format and then uploaded to the LMS platform. Thus, even if the source files are missing, one can still retain the courses.
Also, if you have the storyboard for these courses available, using a rapid authoring tool, you can recreate them with added interactivities and visual elements of the authoring tool.
Helps in a higher ranking on the SERP
If you wish to promote your eLearning content and course modules online, each of them must be well-structured per the SEO guidelines. HTML5, which is a major upgrade of HTML, is crucial in search engine algorithms owing to the options to add new elements, and differentiate each segmentation on a web page (header, actual content part, footer, etc.).
This better way of expressing what’s on the web page makes HTML5-based courses easily understandable by search engine crawlers. Thus, converting or integrating it into your course modules can make them semantically flawless and rank higher in the search results. This is another reason why migrating from Flash to HTML5 for eLearning courses has become mandatory.
Device independence is the key
The current digital era we live in, most online content is consumed over smartphones and other IoT devices. This on-the-go data consumption has made it all the more necessary for content to be device independent, i.e., accessible from all kinds of devices, all platforms and browsers, whatsoever.
With this added advantage of HTML5 conversion, the learning process gets much more synced up and accessible to all, even disabled users.
Cyber security is robust in HTML5
HTML5 has a secured architecture that helps with cyber risk and security management, whereas Flash codes are prone to security breaches. Moreover, Mac users often complain about system crashes due to Flash installation.
All these cyber security challenges have made HTML5 a viable alternative for EdTech companies.
eLearning content can be browsed offline
The HTML5 technology allows offline access, empowering users on the move or with poor Internet connectivity. It stores web application codes and content locally through an offline application cache. Users can download the resources while they are connected to the Internet and then access them offline, anywhere, anytime.
This gives an outstanding offline web user experience as well as increases the scope of HTML5.
What can be done with existing Flash-based course modules?
If you own an EdTech company that already has a myriad of Flash-based content, fret not. Your content doesn’t need to get obsolete or trashed. Simply convert the Flash files (SWF files) into HTML5 files, which will help your content stay updated and contemporary with the current times.
The Flash to HTML5 conversion process might apparently seem to be a humongous task that will take months to complete, but in reality, the conversion is much less complex and takes less time than thought.
However, only a professional with significant experience can migrate Flash-based eLearning courses to HTML5 in the most appropriate way. If you are ever thinking of converting Flash to HTML5, always reach out to a reliable agency with prior expertise and domain knowledge in Flash to HTML5 conversion services that can undertake your project efficiently. Amateurs or novices who are not much comfortable with the technology will find the whole process complex and difficult.
Nonetheless, if you are still doubtful about converting Flash files into HTML5-based courses, you might be losing a great many opportunities. Because the benefits of converting Flash to HTML5 in eLearning courses are only going to increase with time. Start your conversion today, and let us know if our professionals can help you in any way with the migration. Good luck!