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Gone in a Flash: Converting Outdated Technology Before 2020 Ends

Published Thu Oct 01 2020


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Once a ubiquitous app for animation and interaction—and now considered a security risk—Adobe Flash will see its last day on December 31, 2020. In fact, many browsers have already disabled it, with HTML5 taking its place.

Flash has been a valuable tool in the learning industry, giving our online courses movement and interest that increased engagement. But at the end of the year, all those Flash-based elements will cease to operate, rendering unconverted courses inoperable. Compounding the situation, there are no tools to automate the remediation process that also deliver effective learning, so conversion will look different in every organization.

If you still have Flash content in your library, what do you do?

GP Strategies has helped many organizations convert thousands of hours of learning and moved their content libraries through Flash conversion with a four-step process.

Step 1: Assess your current state. Review your existing portfolio of Flash courses and determine which to eliminate, which to convert, and which to transform. Confirm your access to the source code of the courses. Do you only have the published files, or do you have the source files? This will become an important feature of your conversion journey.

Step 2: Prioritize your courses. You can’t transition everything at once, so prioritize which courses you will convert and transform first.

Step 3: Develop a conversion plan. Implement a conversion strategy that meets your needs based on schedule, budget, user requirements, business strategy, and maintenance plans.

Step 4: Convert your courses. Apply the appropriate conversion method for each course, conduct testing across required devices, and ensure a successful implementation in your LMS.

The end of Flash can trigger the beginning of something new for your learning organization. While rationalizing Flash courses, you can inventory and retire outdated courses from your entire library. Here are some best practices to keep in mind while the conversion is in progress:

  • Develop a mobile strategy that guides priorities and a content strategy that guides development.

  • Consider incorporating new modalities or instructional strategies that can increase engagement and retention, such as chatbots, microlearning, and modern learning approaches.

  • Plan for mobile learning needs with a responsive design course structure and navigation. This can always be implemented during a phase two approach if you are constrained with time or budget.

  • Incorporate leading strategies that optimize the learner experience and make the conversion process seamless.

We are all finding our new normal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and distributed workplaces are more commonplace than ever, which in turn places even more emphasis on your online learning assets. Now is the time to consider new modalities and strategies to move your learning organization forward. And if you still have Flash courses to convert, all is not lost. GP Strategies can help you modernize your portfolio and guide you into the future of virtual learning.

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