Content Creation After Flash
The key to simulation learning is that it relies on some form of playback of the eLearning content, video or otherwise. In the first decade of the 21st Century reliable and compatible playback meant using Adobe Flash and Adobe Flash Player. This was the case for almost all versions of the major browsers. In the second decade of this century the landscape has changed, and is still changing, significantly.
One of the ways we often assist clients with the use or selection of tools is when packaging content for use in a Learning Management System. Increasingly our clients are packaging their eLearning materials to be HTML5 compatible, we are moving our LMS to HTML5 for similar reasons. Whilst both Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, or whatever your favorite tool is, have significant benefits and strengths there is one key scenario you really need to check out and it is simple for you to test this yourself within your LMS and the likely 2017 environment within your organization.
If you don’t already have the latest releases of your content creation tool of choice then simply download a trial version and create a simple piece of content. Package this content for your LMS as a piece of SCORM compliant content and make sure you select options to package as HTML5 only. Load them up into your LMS as you would do normally. Next examine the file structure of the packages you loaded in your LMS in a tool such as Windows Explorer and you may well see that the packages contain quite a lot of Flash files even though they were packaged as HTML5-only. Now, if you find some Flash files delete the Flash files and then try and run the content, oh and make sure you also have the latest release of your browser installed. Remember we are trying to run a test in an environment as close as we can get to the way the world will be in 2017. Why delete the Flash files? – well if the content doesn’t need them to run then they don’t need to be there so we can remove them. You might get a surprise when you try and run the content.
Now, it could be that for a simple, no frills simulation your tool of choice runs fine as HTML5-only but once you add those features you love such as fades, sliding wipes, it needs Flash for the effect. So load that test piece into your LMS and double check that there aren’t any flash files present. If you don’t create your own content but source third party materials, you can still run such a test. In fact, it is probably even more critical that you do as in this scenario you have no control over how the content is packaged and what file types it contains. You can still set up your ‘2017 environment’ and then run any third-party content from you LMS in the test environment having removed any Flash files.
Some testing and checking now could save you a lot of work later! If you want any help with this, please get in touch. 25 years of experience in building tools and content means we have a lot of experience and we are happy to share it!