Mobile Learning has been a trend in education for some time now.
Learners are using multiple devices.
It’s fairly common for an individual learner to use more than one device for course activities. For example, I alternatively use a laptop, desktop computer, iPad, and Android phone for accessing and interacting with course content.
Flash is going away fast due to security issues.
For years e-learning developers have been packaging e-learning modules that we create in Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, or other authoring tools as Flash files. We save SWF, zip it, load it to the LMS, and ta-da, the learner accesses it. Over the past few years that has not always worked well for learners, so we started packaging e-learning with SWF and HTML5 output together so that either file could be played by the learner’s device. That is not always the best solution. But why?
Flash is designed for desktops, so has limited or no support for mobile devices. Flash files have longer load times, and Flash video drains batteries.
Because of the security vulnerabilities, Flash is going away fast. Chrome will completely block it by 2020, and Mozilla Firefox is starting to block it now. Many organizations are removing support or access to it before 2020. Files that are packaged with SWF (even as an option) need to be republished with only HTML5 output.
HTML5 generally works well. It was created to work with any device and browser; it’s device-agnostic. Many e-learning developers need to go back and publish all of their old files as HTML5.
An Easy Solution?
Articulate has recently released a new responsive player built-in to the standard player, so is fairly easy to implement. In a quick test, I found it worked well in the native browser on an old Android phone and iPad in the Safari browser.
For more information on publishing in HTML5, see Storyline 3: Publishing a Course for Mobile Devices. For more information about the Storyline responsive player, see Storyline 3: Responsive Player FAQs.
Designing for HTML5
When creating files in Storyline for mobile learners, there a few caveats that affect design when packaging in the HTML5 format.
- Zoom may not be as crisp
- Simultaneous audio and video will not work on Apple iOS devices
- Exit browser triggers may not be supported
- Volume slider will not show on mobile devices
- Some of the player options (resize window, open in a new window, player size) will not be supported in mobile browsers
The full list that compares HTML5 output to other options is available at Storyline 360: Comparing HTML5, Flash, and Articulate Mobile Player Output.