Converting Flash Courses to HTML5

Where Do I Begin?

By now, you know Flash is going away. We at Raytheon Professional Services have spent many hours this past year working with clients to assess and convert thousands of courses with Flash content. In this blog, we will share some of our experiences to help you determine where to start the process of converting Flash eLearning courses to HTML5. Depending on the industry in which your organization operates, your strategy for Flash to HTML5 conversion might need to be adjusted a bit.

A good place to start is by determining which of your courses have already been published in HTML5. This can save you time during the remainder of the assessment process. You should also assess how many courses have exceeded their usefulness. To help make this determination, begin by looking at how recently courses have been accessed through your LMS. You might find that courses have not been launched for 5 years or more. Unless these courses have a lifecycle of more than 5 years, they are probably good candidates for further investigation.

Should I Convert This?

One more opportunity to reduce the conversion effort is to look at plans that each department has for refreshing and replacing existing course content in their libraries:.

  1. If a person or course owner is available to provide such support, ask if they know of specific courses that need to be replaced or retired.
  2. Consider if the Look-&-Feel of the courses is current, if the topic is outdated, the use of colors and screen formatting, and especially the appearance of the talent presenting the material.
  3.  Look into the media used. Are the courses applying current methodologies and modalities? For example, should the eLearning be converted to Mobile, or gamified?

These questions all might reveal some details that will help you to prioritize the courses to be converted at a later stage in the process.

So far, by applying the steps above, you have probably eliminated 10% or more of the courses to be converted. Now it is time to begin to dig more deeply into the courses and identify patterns, or indicators that the courses need to be converted and will cease to operate when Flash is sunsetted.

Starting Course Analysis

One method is to determine if the course source files are available. If, as in many organizations, your courses are available on a share drive, you can perform a search for the Flash source files. Depending on how the courses have been organized, the root folder of each course should indicate the course name or catalog number. Otherwise, you should have access to the imsmanifest file or other method to determine the course name. Having access to these files will help you in the process of converting those courses from Flash to HTML5.

The next steps include performing a more detailed analysis of the published Flash courses for which you do not have the source files. For example, you will need to know the reusability of the media assets, which includes access to the files, the file types used, their organization for course reuse and development, and especially their quality.

At RPS, we have found that this process is made far more efficient through automation. Our technology analyzes each course, identifies all of the media files, assesses them for quality and reusability for deployment in today’s technology, and then organizes them into structured locations to make the conversion and development phase more efficient. We will cover more on that process in the next blog in this series.

When it comes to Flash, the clock is ticking, and you don’t want to be surprised when it strikes midnight. Get in touch with our team now to get your conversion process rolling.

How would you tackle the Flash conversion process in your organization? Do you have lessons learned that you’d like to share? Start a conversation in the comments below or connect with us at @RaytheonRPS using the hashtags #Flashconversion, #elearning or #onlinetraining.

To learn more, visit our Flash Conversion page on RPS.com.