3 Steps To Build eLearning For Specialized Mobile Devices
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How To Effectively Build eLearning For Specialized Mobile Devices: A Case Study

The benefits of converting legacy Flash courses to HTML5 are indisputable: not only are HTML5 courses compatible with mobile technology, but they also offer better security and performance, are easier to update, and can integrate with other services (such as Vimeo and social media). In my last article, Off-The-Shelf Vs. Custom Flash-To-HTML5 Conversion, I highlighted these benefits and more, as well as outlined a recommended conversion process. In this article, I take a step further and explain what you should do if your learners use a specialized mobile device.

The Client: Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc.

One of our Flash-to-HTML5 conversion clients, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc., is a truckload shipping carrier based in Phoenix, Arizona. They engaged us to convert 20 legacy courses so their truck drivers could access training via a specialized mobile device—a Zonar tablet—while on stops on the road. Course topics included customer service, cargo security, professional conduct, drugs and alcohol, equipment maintenance and operation, permits, fuel, accident reporting, safety and injury prevention, and more.

Our team used the following 3-step agile approach to convert the legacy courses to HTML5:

  1. Study and define capabilities of the specialized device.
  2. Create and test an HTML5 prototype in the specialized device.
  3. Convert the remaining courseware to HTML5.

Step 1: Study And Define The Capabilities Of The Specialized Device

Knight-Swift Transportation trucks were already equipped with Zonar tablets, so they decided to leverage their existing technology to ensure all learners received a consistent training experience.

The client lent one of the devices to our production team to study, define the device’s capabilities, and develop a custom solution for their Flash-to-HTML5 conversion. In addition to determining the screen size and resolution, we learned this device includes the following features:

  • Android OS version 1.2
  • Advanced Navigation
  • Inspection Reporting
  • Hours-of-Service
  • Messaging
  • Camera (e.g., take and send pictures of inspection defects and logistics documents)

Step 1 Tip

During Step 1, focus on the User’s Experience to help you identify and address any complications early. In our case, we discovered the following challenges:

  • Intermittent connectivity
    Because our target audience included drivers who constantly change locations across the country, we realized learners would experience variable internet speeds.
  • Device limitations
    The Zonar device ran an older IOS that did not support complex animations and interactions.

Step 2: Create And Test An HTML5 Prototype In The Specialized Device

Once we understood the Zonar tablet’s capabilities and limitations, our team created a prototype for initial client review and testing. Our goal was to identify and address any additional challenges that we missed during Step 1 before converting all of the courses in Step 3. The prototype performed nicely on the Zonar tablet; the only global change request was to increase the font size for easier readability.

Step 2 Tip

During Step 2, try to replicate the real-world use of the course. We paid attention to the fact that our course was going to be used in trucks—with variable internet speeds—so that influenced a lot of our decisions to keep the file size small, incorporate simple interactions, and use bigger text sizes.

Step 3: Convert The Remaining Courseware To HTML5

After the client reviewed and approved the pilot, we converted the remaining Flash courseware to HTML5. As part of this process, we created a strict set of template pages that we used to convert the Flash-based courses rapidly.

Step 3 Tip

If you are converting a large volume of courses during Step 3, create a set of templates to enable you to rapidly create the conversions.

Start The Flash-to-HTML5 Conversion Process For Your Specialized Devices

Knight-Swift Transportation rolled out the updated training on their truck drivers’ Zonar tablets about 4 years ago, and since then there have been over 8,700-course launches and 8,000-course completions. The benefits of converting their legacy Flash courses to HTML5 have been realized: not only do their HTML5 courses offer better security and performance, but they are compatible with their specific mobile technology, as well.

If your organization’s learning audience uses specialized technology, follow the process above to ensure your legacy Flash courses are converted to HTML5 appropriately. Consider engaging an experienced vendor to help you with the conversion so you can enjoy all the benefits of HTML5 courseware.

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