How Will Flash’s Demise Affect Your SCORM Courses? Eoghan Quigley Published on January 23, 2018 Support for Adobe Flash Player ends in 2020. And as Flash has been integral to eLearning for over 20 years, it’s retirement will have a significant effect. But, what does this mean for you and your organization's eLearning efforts? What will you have to do to avoid problems in the future? In this post, we explain why this change is significant and how you can address it now! What does the death of Flash mean? When publishing a SCORM course you choose between two different output types. Currently, you can export SCORM packages to Flash, HTML, or both. Flash is the most popular output type, so it's likely that your courses are SWF Flash-based. This output format does have one major drawback. SWF courses do not work on certain devices; Apple devices. And that's a lot of devices not supported. Learner engagement is a constant challenge when it comes to delivering eLearning so the last thing you want to do is to 'turn away' an eager learner. HTML5 works on all devices so it's the obvious choice as a successor. It allows learners to launch SCORM and xAPI courses from their browser. There are a couple of caveats: HTML5 requires a modern browser. If your organization is running old versions of browsers then you’ll need to update them. Some authoring tool effects do not work with HTML. It may not be a case of simply republishing to HTML5, you may have to redesign the course itself. "I’ll do it later" Bad idea. At the very least you should investigate it now so you know what to expect when this change comes into effect. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a large project to complete in a short period of time. Updating your eLearning courses to HTML5 will mean either: A quick republishing of the courses with a new output option selected, or A complete redesign of the courses to suit HTML5 Even if all you need to do is change over to a new output format, you can only do that if you have access to the original project file. Have you saved each course project file? Storyline calls its project files coursetitle.story, while Captivate calls theirs: coursetitle.cptx. Searching for these files types on your work laptop or desktop will help you to locate the files you need. Tips to follow If you are responsible for the creation of SCORM files make sure you are doing the following: Always keep the project file so you can make changes to the course in the future. (When you’ve finished working on a course file use the mantra "Save for me, export for my learners" to help you remember. Don’t create any more course content that is Flash SWF based Redesign everything for compatibility with HTML5: Investigate problematic transitions/effects, and replace them. Design courses that are responsive to device sizes. Older browsers may not support HTML5. Your organization may need to update browsers to ensure your learners can launch and complete their courses. Investigate HTML5 first authoring tools. How to publish in HTML5 When you have finished creating your course, save the project file. Then export/publish your courses as per usual except this time: choose HTML5 as the output format. Articulate Storyline Select the publish option in the ribbon shown. Check the box beside "include HTML5 output". As you can see in the image, you can choose HTML5, Flash or a combination of the two. Go through your publishing steps as per usual to export a SCORM zip package with HTML5 as the output format. Adobe Captivate Click on File > Publish Settings. Under the Quiz, settings fill in your reporting settings by clicking the checkbox to enable reporting and choose the SCORM type (1.2 for LearnUpon users). Click on File > Publish. Choose the output format. Check the box for HTML5 (Possible issue: Some browsers like Firefox don't support HTML5 tags for embedded mp4). Selecting both doubles the size of the file. iSpring Click Publish > LMS. Check Zip output on the general tab. To choose HTML5 as the output, go to Zip Output settings on the general tab. Select either Mobile (HTML5) or Combined (Flash+HTML5). Other Authoring tools Some newer authoring tool such as Elucidat and Gomo learning are HTML5 first in their design so they produce HTML5 courses by default. So you’re prepared for the changes ahead - the time to act is now. Scope out how much work is involved to transition away from Flash-based courses now to avoid the stress of the last minute rush.