For years, Adobe Flash was the predominant tool used to develop engaging, interactive elearning courseware. Flash based courseware allows for a high-level of course interactivity while providing a consistent user experience across browsers and hardware platforms. Whether it was a high-end custom elearning development project or rapid elearning development using a tool such as Articulate, Flash based courseware enabled authors to publishing the courseware without needing to understand the technical landscape of the targeted users.
Steve Job’s decision not to support Flash on the iPad and iPhone put in place a change that continues to affect how companies develop elearning courseware and Internet content. I recall the initial frustration I experienced surfing the Internet with an iPad when it was first released. Almost every site I accessed had some Flash elements that I could not access from the iPad. Now, just a few years later, this problem has decreased significantly as content developers move away from Flash and adopt tools such as HTML for website and elearning development.
The migration to HTML has been aided significantly by the HTML5 specifications. HTML5 enables developers to create more exciting and interactive content, which was a struggle to create in HTML4, and earlier versions. The promise is that content developed in HMTL5 will be universally accessible across mobile and non-mobile platforms. While this is true for newer browsers, the immediate challenge is that millions of machines are still using older browser versions that do not fully support HTML5. For example, Internet Explorer hasn’t fully support HTML5 until the release of version 10 and many large corporations and government agencies are still running Internet Explorer v8 and v9 with no immediate plans to upgrade.
As a result, we have found it to be important to understand the technical environment of our clients’ user population so we can recommend the best elearning development approach for their courseware. As a custom elearning developer, LeanForward offers expertise in all the major multimedia development tools and elearning authoring tools. This enables us to develop our client’s courseware using the tools and technologies which best fit our clients’ needs.