Adobe Flash was once known as the tool to use for online training courses. With Flash, you could create and display interactive content with animations, games, and video. It was the only mechanism used by eLearning authoring tools for course creation. HTML5 did gain popularity, but it wasn’t stable enough for authoring tools to implement until 2017 and these programs didn’t stabilize until around May 2018. Even now, there are still some issues when viewing an HTML5 course on mobile.
Thankfully, all primary authoring tools for online training courses—such as the tools we at Flare Learning use to create modules—have been upgraded within the last year to increase their HTML5 support. After countless releases and updates (as recently as this August), these tools have finally stabilized, allowing them to eliminate their reliance on Flash.
The Problem: What happens when Flash goes away?
To be clear - all support for Flash will end in 2020. If you’re still using Flash-based courses, they will no longer work. Web browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox have already removed the support for Flash. To combat the issue, all modern web browsers have implemented HTML5 standards. Because of the increased support for HTML5, the solution to the Flash issue is to change your course publish settings from Flash to HTML5.
Unfortunately, it may not be as simple as it sounds.
The work involved to determine the best way to proceed and any technical implications to your courses will depend on their current set-up and the software you use.
Test your courses first!
Before you begin any work, you should test your courses in multiple browsers with Flash disabled to see how they perform. If they work well in HTML5, you may not need to do anything.
Upgrade before you publish.
Many of the software applications used to create online courses have updates available to provide delivery using HTML5 instead of Flash. Research the software you use and consider upgrading to the latest, and most stable, version.
Test your courses after!
Unfortunately, republishing your courses may not be as easy as changing a publishing setting. Software updates may also change how courses function or look. The impacts to your courses will vary depending on the software you use and the age of your courses. As a result, always put your courses through a thorough quality assurance process and prepare to invest time fixing any issues. Having a select group fully test the new modules and ensure they work the way you want them to in today’s environment is also a good idea. There’s no point in preparing for tomorrow if it breaks today!
Plan for your implementation.
Having a plan to get the new courses out to your learners is as important as the updates themselves. Consider how you are currently delivering your training and the impact the release of an update may impact your learners.
The Opportunity: Audit your eLearning before 2020
The end of Flash creates an excellent opportunity for you to refresh your online training courses rather than just republishing. Consider this the perfect time to ensure your material is meeting the changing needs of your learners. Perhaps your organization has grown in different ways - use this as the excuse to audit your eLearning materials for accuracy. These updates can be as simple as content revision or as involved as a total program refresh.
We suggest a few different options to consider as you review and make decisions.
Don’t have much time or budget available? Do the minimum!
Migrate your current online courses with software updates that work without being dependent on Flash. The goal for a project of this nature could be to complete as few changes as possible to your current courses material.
Have an appetite for a quick review? Do quick and easy updates!
Start by conducting a complete online course review. As you review each individual piece of information, look for opportunities to update content. Once you’ve finished all changes, continue with the update to the course publish settings to relaunch your courses in your LMS.
Looking to be more thorough with your audit? Modernize or re-brand for a refresh!
Like other technology you use in daily life, the technology available for creating engaging eLearning courses continues to evolve. Take this opportunity to update your online trainingcourses with these new and exciting advances. With the powerful publishing tools, reimagine old courses to include new interactivity, which will function on all the devices your learners use every day, and more.
Want to change everything? Revolutionize with a multi-modal component!
Don’t think of this option as a step backwards, but instead, a step forward with an investment in training which will have a positive impact on your bottom line. Reinvigorate your employees with a revolutionary online training program within a fully adaptive microlearning environment. Finally, create eLearning for your organization that you've always dreamed of having!
Need help planning for life after Flash?
Above are just some of the options you can explore given the opportunity to update your courses for life after Adobe Flash. As your eLearning partner, we'd be happy to discuss your specific questions, concerns, and the opportunities presented to refresh or update your organization's online training courses. Book a meeting with an expert today!
For more information on the depreciation of Flash, check out the links below: