Mobile TrainingMulti-platform Deployment

Transitioning to multiple platform mobile delivery: eLearning tips for manufacturers

Now that the Flash bandwagon crashed, here’s how to transition to mobile eLearning delivery

The late nineties through 2010 were great years for the brand new idea of moving training to the digital world. With software like Flash and beautiful MPEG video, we threw our paper courses away and broke new ground with CD-ROMS for assemblers, inspectors, installers and distributors.

Then we moved online. Everyone had the latest Flash player in their desktop browsers and Flash even upped the ante with its .flv video format. Now videos were high-quality AND had small file sizes ideal for our brand new high-speed internet connections. I was quite busy producing CD based eLearning courses for manufacturers.

And then came the iPod, the iPhone and finally the iPad. And iFreaked. None of the courses that I had produced previously would work on these devices. My clients started to use iPads, but that meant their libraries of material were suddenly obsolete.

Apple decided that their devices would not use the Flash player or be Flash enabled in any way. Steve Jobs declared, “Flash is dead.” And, except in the world of animation and gaming, his declaration was fortuitous.

In the past few years I have been making the transition to multiple platform delivery, including iOS.

If you’re finding yourself in the same situation, here are a few tips to get your old programs up to speed for today’s technologies:

  1. HTML coding
    Choose an eLearning software platform that outputs HTML, or custom develop in HTML. There are several leading software platforms that are tailored for eLearning and output to HTML and/or HTML5. Examples of these are Adobe Captivate, Lectora, Storyline and Presenter.
  1. Videos
    This is almost the easy one. Update your videos to MP4s, which are good quality and universally acceptable
  1. Images
    Get ready for hi-retina. This can actually be tricky if you have trouble tracking down the original high resolution graphics or images you used many years ago. What you want is at least two (and now three is best) sizes of each image, doubling and tripling in dimension.
  1. Animated effects
    Ahh, this is the disappointing one, but will improve with time. Flash excelled at simple animations. Replacement options consist of converting animation to video using javascript, CSS and canvas, all web technologies. They are getting better, but are not near the Flash level of sophistication. There is some software, such as Adobe Edge Animate that will give you a Flash-like interface and convert what you create to web technologies. Believe it or not, if your old program contained animated gif files, those are still usable.
  1. Interactivity
    Like animation, interactive elements will have to be converted to javascript. If you choose eLearning authoring program, some of these capabilities are built-in and well-done.
  1. Audio
    Your old wav or aiff files are best converted to mp3. As with interactivity, most eLearning software will convert your wav files for you so you are still able to use them if you wish.

So get out your dust rag, dig up those archived programs and polish them up with new technologies.

Ron Trilling
Author of Learning Lines | Founder and Partner, at Media Dynamics
Ron is a great source of information when it comes to eLearning. He has a background in instructional design and has worked with many companies to help develop their eLearning content and courses.
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  1. December 25, 2014 at 11:12 pm — Reply

    […] “The late nineties through 2010 were great years for the brand new idea of moving training to the digital world. With software like Flash and …”  […]

  2. […] The late nineties through 2010 were great years for the brand new idea of moving training to the digital world. With software like Flash and …  […]

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