Enriched functionalities give HTML5 a distinct edge over Flash in developing online learning content
After a long run as the gold standard in web page development, the existing iterations of hypertext markup language (HTML) are losing relevance in an increasingly mobile eLearning community.Content creators are under duress to migrate their legacy data to newer formats as not all mobile devices support traditional multimedia formats such as Flash.Technology developers have responded to this need with the HTML5, a function-rich HTML version that successfully addresses mobile learners’ (mLearners) demand for anytime-anywhere access to educational data.
HTML5 ushers the eLearning community into a truly digital age of learning, giving them the much desired freedom to access their courses on desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile phones. Significantly, it in addition to being device-agnostic, it is also a cross-platform (Windows, iOS, Android) solution, which offers a high degree of flexibility and user engagement.It further simplifies access by enabling multimedia content rendering without requiring a player application or plug-ins.
Wider Reach and Enhanced Accessibility
As the goal of eLearning portalsis to cost-effectively provide education to the widest range of users all over the world, it is imperative to align their products and services with the latest advances in information and communication technologies. HTML5 allows online learning portals to make their instruction materials available to both mLearners and eLearners, covering users across the entire digital spectrum. Furthermore, the unified format of HTML5 lowers production costs as both designers and coders employ the same format in the production center.
Checklist for Migration
For aseamless migration from the existing format to HTML5, content owners have to perform an extensive check and chart a clear migration path. The pre-planning stages include:
- Ensuring that all assets of the online courses are available and tagged by priority;
- Designing a support map.Outlining all the frames in both Flash and HTML5 in order to preempt delays and complications that canarise from insufficient comprehension of the frame differences between the two formats;
- Identifyingthe required content and the areas of content that will improve with this migration;
Making sure that security policies are adhered to before rolling out mLearning solutions, as the content development and migration happens over an open platform
- Checking the availability of post-migration support once the migration plan has been mapped and all assets are organized.
Additionally, content owners must segment their content by adaptive and responsive designs, as well as aim for performance gains and full content retention. They can conduct user tests all along the migrationpath to offer the best possible user experience to future learners.
As HTML5 is still a nascent technology, there may be several technical and regulatory hurdles to its implementation; however, it also presents opportunities for eLearning companies to refine their training modules. Overall, HTML5 delivers outstanding value to online learning portals in the form of enhanced learning experience and eventually, substantial returns on investment.