Properly scoping the conversion project is everything.
Particularly if you have a high volume of courseware to address, it is critical that you perform an up-front media analysis on your courses to gather as much useful information as possible.Simply guessing will cost you much time in the long run. Your goal should be to reduce the number of courses that require further review.
In order to maximize your time and meet your Flash conversion deadline, it is important to conduct detailed media asset analysis only on courses that require further conversion or rebuild. These courses are either 1) not yet ready to be retired, or 2) have at least some Flash in them, no matter how small the amount. Spend your valuable time on courses that need to be converted or rebuilt.
Although manual course review is a good method for spot-checking your process, it is important that you automate the analysis process as much as possible.
Remove courses to be retired from the process
Let’s assume that you have analyzed your courses, and you have identified the set of Flash courses that must not be retired because they are:
- Compliance Courses
- Current and still have an ongoing shelf-life
- Desired by a business unit or owner
- Relevant to your business
- Unique and have no redundancies with other courses
- Still being accessed in your LMS
- Necessary to fill gaps in your curriculum
- An integral part of your curriculum catalog
- Not already converted to HTML5
These are the courses on which you should focus the rest of the Flash conversion process.
Your next step is to determine what to do with the courses that need to be updated or converted. Now would be the time to access all of that media analysis data you performed at the onset of this process. For example, Raytheon Professional Services has developed automated tools that tell you which courses have:
- Reusable media that will properly deploy and display in today’s technology
- Been produced in a development tool that offers a conversion path
- Course source files available
- Media source files available
- Interactive and engaging Flash animations
- Media with manageable copyrights
- Received SME approval for the existing content
The resulting courses could be excellent candidates for the Republish process. Your developers will have a high probability of being able to use technology to republish the content, while saving significant development time in the process.
Recording Course Screens
Sometimes, an acceptable method for converting Flash eLearning courses is to record the existing eLearning screen video and audio, then assemble the videos in a current development tool. Then the resulting courses can be deployed as level 1 interactivity eLearning. Flash courses that are good candidates for this are courses that:
- Have screen media that can be recorded and deployed in today’s technology
- Have simple Flash animations rather than complex interactives
- Are not produced in a development tool that offers a conversion path
- Do not have course source files available
- Do not have media source files available
- Can be divided into smaller micro-learning chunks
Which Courses to Rebuild?
Due to factors outside of your control, there will be a set of courses that required a Rebuild. These courses will typically require:
- Updated learning content
- Media files to be upgraded to a new format
- A different technology than that in which they were developed
- A different modality than the original content
- A change in the pacing and length of the learning experience
- Updating of company processes and standards that have changed
- Updating of the talent and subjects featured in the content
- Changing or removal of on-line references
- SME approval for the existing content
Which Courses to Redesign?
And then there are courses that need to be Redesigned. For developers, this is an exciting time to consider introducing new and emerging technologies and other modalities. Some of these are micro-learning, performance support, predictive learning, iPDF and iVideo, as well as LXPs with NetFlix-style learner-centric interfaces.
In your redesign, make sure you are being strategic and mapping to your business goals. Redesign the curriculum not just the courses, and establish a roadmap that matches the requirements going forward. Courses that require Redesign include learning with:
- Content that is less than 70% relevant
- An approach and methodology that is outdated
- An outdated Look-&-feel
- An owner that has requirements and budget for the rebuild
- Less efficient or competitive deployment platforms
- Code that is not current with LMS standards
- Outdated learning modalities that are significantly less effective than those available today
- Missing source files
- Code that is not compatible with current technology or versions
- Lack of access to the original SMEs for input on the content
- Media that is not compatible with current displays or mobile devices
- Gaps in the current curriculum
- New compliance requirements
RPS has converted thousands of courses from Flash to HTML5. Some of our customers had over 1,200 courses and needed to complete the process in 9 months. Some customers had as few as 64 courses to convert. The number of courses that we scoped to require the process has always been accurate due to our automated media asset analysis.
When it comes to Flash, the clock is ticking ever faster, and you don’t want to be surprised when it strikes midnight. Get in touch with our team now to get your curriculum analysis and course 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.