Converting Flash Courses To HTML5? Outsource Or In-House
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Making An Informed Decision: Proceed To Flash To HTML5 Course Conversion In-House Or Through A Vendor?

Flash that once dominated the online space is going to be completely phased out by 2020’s conclusion. Organizations that have Flash-based courses are converting them into HTML5. HTML5 is the new online standard and hence for ensuring access to Flash driven courses in future, conversion is a must.

Many organizations which have launched Flash-based eLearning courses have already embarked on the process of conversion. But they are confronted with the dilemma of whether to carry out the conversion in-house or outsource it to a reputed firm. A fair decision can be taken by factoring in the intricacies of conversion and the advantages, as well as drawbacks of each option.

Dynamics Of The Conversion Process

1. Quantum Of Files To Be Converted

Initially, your organization has to assess the number of eLearning courses available in Flash and the ones you want to get converted to HTML5 on the priority basis. The priority can be accorded to the courses based on their relevance to your existing and future business.

You may decide to retain certain courses in Flash to benefit from the interactive quotient provided by this platform. Once you have analyzed the courses and sorted them out for the conversion process, you would get a feel of the quantum of files to be converted.

2. Redesigning Or Recording The Courses

Once the volume of files has been determined, you have to decide your future course of action. The Flash files can be recorded, rebuilt, republished or completely redesigned from scratch in HTML5. Your decision of converting Flash Courses to HTML5 in-house or through an outsourced vendor would largely depend on your proposed action course.

If the source files for Flash courses are not readily available or the courses just run in presentation mode, you can get the same recorded in .mp4 format. This .mp4 file can then be converted to AICC/ SCORM/Tin Can API with the framework support of courseware shell.

You may have to republish certain courses. Such courses had been scripted in an outdated version of Flash authoring tools. For ensuring seamless conversion, you have to upgrade to the most recent version of the authoring tool. The courseware has to be realigned and reprogrammed either entirely or partially before being republished to HTML format. This would also ensure compatibility with SCORM.

Certain files would demand complete rebuilding. Such courses had been developed in Macromedia Flash versions which are no longer circulated. However, these courses have usable media elements still present in the background. During conversion, the courses have to be rebuilt with the help of new development software or with an HTML5 authoring tool.

You would have to completely redesign some courses. This would mandate the inclusion of new instructional pattern. The updated instruction sets have to be integrated because the source files may no longer be available for use. Further, the content of e-course may not be in sync with contemporary requirements. Hence, you will have to include newer and more relevant information, and deliver the same in a more interactive mode. The course would have to be redesigned from scratch in the most recent authoring tool.

3. Converting With Authoring Tools

You have to factor in the importance of authoring tools for streamlined conversion. The results can be optimized if you choose the tool that perfectly complements your conversion related requirements. For securing expected results, you have to assess the capabilities and drawbacks of major authoring tools.

Understanding the aforesaid dynamics of conversion takes us to the next important destination i.e. the conversion process. The advantages and limitations of choosing in-house or outsourced mode of conversion of Flash to HTML5 need to be dwelt upon. For helping you make a conscious decision, let us understand the pros and cons of each process.

4. In-House Conversion

Your decision to get the conversion carried out by your own tenured staff is a welcome step. The advantages of the process are:

  • Dedicated, full-time team with members possessing the needful qualifications
  • The team would better understand your organizational perspectives and requirements
  • Results would be delivered in alignment with the needs
  • The scope of communication errors would be minimal as the process is managed in-house
  • Deadlines and delivery schedules can be optimally met
  • All aspects of the conversion would be attentively taken care of
  • If skills are missing in staff, you can subject them to relevant training
  • Trained staff can serve your purpose for future conversion needs
  • The expertise of staff can be leveraged whenever needed
  • HTML5 skills of staff can be utilized for other projects as well

There are certain apparent drawbacks to the in-house conversion idea, like:

  • You may have to recruit tenured staff just for conversion
  • Regular salary and other emoluments have to be given even when work is less
  • Administrative and HR teams for managing staff have to be maintained
  • Training employees would require time and money investment
  • Regular training have to be organized to ensure skills don’t become obsolete
  • Investment on latest authoring tools would be needed
  • The recurrent license fee for proprietary software has to be paid
  • Qualified Instructional Designers would be required for course revamping
  • Instructional Designers have to be hired for a higher pay packet
  • Entire instructional infrastructure has to be set up and maintained
  • Additional resources would be needed for unique Flash courses
  • Resources include graphics, animations, interactive modules, games, quizzes
  • Courses with embedded resources are difficult and time-consuming to convert
  • Getting hold of additional resources can be challenging

5. Conversion Through Outsourced Vendor

If you choose to get the Flash to HTML5 eLearning conversion carried out by an outsourced vendor, you can reap several benefits.

Prominent among the advantages are:

  • Qualified team with updated skills and access to most recent authoring tools
  • Needful experience and expertise available for executing conversion intricacies
  • Complex Flash functions can be addressed with proper resources
  • An unlimited volume of conversion can be handled with ease
  • Turnaround time would be low
  • Infrastructural and resource capabilities can be ramped up as per the project’s needs
  • Thorough proofreading by the vendor would ensure flawless conversion
  • Latest authoring tools with cutting-edge features can be used
  • Familiarity with all authoring tools would lead to the use of the strategic tool for project
  • Specific conversion needs can be met with right toolset
  • The correct tool can be deployed for meeting the volume and complexity of the project
  • Limitations of tools are known, which prevents wastage of time on experimenting
  • The conversion process can be optimized using multiple tools and different methods
  • Attractive discounts can be availed of on bulk work
  • Redesigning, revamping and instructional pattern changing can be done easily
  • Overall expenses incurred on outsourcing is lesser compared to in-house

Outsourcing too suffers from certain limitations. The challenges that you may come across can be summarized as:

  • Time zone of the offshore vendor may not match with your timings
  • Communication and coordination problems may show up due to time zone issues
  • Project delays can occur
  • Communication lags can get your requirements misrepresented to the vendor
  • Project requirements may not get fulfilled adequately
  • Complete dedication cannot be expected for your project
  • The vendor has to cater to other projects, hence your work may not be prioritized
  • Deadlines may get violated often

Now, that you have become conversant with the pros and cons of carrying out Flash to HTML5 conversion in-house and through outsourcing. You need to weigh your options carefully and then chalk out a well-detailed plan. This would help you mobilize resources and manpower adequately for optimal results. The converted e-courses would be responsive to both web browsers and mobile platforms. Eventually, you have to please your end users to make your business thrive.

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