Adobe is Retiring Flash on December 31, 2020
As if 2020 hasn’t brought us enough challenges and disruptions, Adobe is ending support of the Flash Player at the end of the year. If your eLearning programs were built before 2016 or rely on old versions of authoring tools, they probably contain Flash elements. After December 31, 2020, Microsoft will not allow Flash to operate on supported versions of Windows.
Opportunity Knocks: Transform Rather Than Redevelop!
A traditional approach would be to replace all the Flash elements with HTML5 or redevelop using one of today’s popular eLearning authoring tools. This approach will work and allow you to check off the box on your to-do list that says, “make sure all your programs don’t blow up.” You will maintain your quality standard, but as a Learning Leader, is this enough? Shouldn’t you take a more strategic approach?
Transform Mission Critical Courses
Get started by thinking about this activity as a project, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Create a goal, determine your timeline, and get moving! Here is a jump start on what you have to do.
- Identify the mission-critical courses in your eLearning portfolio that leverage Flash. Don’t over analyze this determination. You know which programs the business cares about. If you are not sure, talk to your executive sponsors.
- Look at each course and determine if the goals and objectives are still valid, the content is accurate and complete, and the examples continue to be relevant. You may need to partner with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to conduct this exercise.
- Once you and your SME agree on the course status, you are ready to transform your courses into modern day learning experiences. Rather than fix the old “page turner” with a few simple animations, videos and branching activities, you can design a truly modern learning experience with a multitude of options, which can all be delivered to the learner’s desktop, phone or tablet. (see diagram below)
- Now that you have a design plan, you can develop and deploy your program using agile design and development methods.
MODERN LEARNING METHODS
Retire or Redevelop Non-Critical Courses
So now you have a plan to address your mission critical eLearning programs. Great! But you also need to have a plan for the rest of your programs. What should you do? As with everything, you have several options. Here are two for you to consider:
- Retire Non-Critical Courses– In today’s incredibly fast-paced world, do you have the resources to carry non-critical content in your learning portfolio? Programs sitting on an LMS carry overhead, such as internal support allocations, system testing, and administrative time. Are these nice-to-haves, i.e., topics that were important in the past but are no longer relevant? Training on out-of-date content? Ask yourself: “What would happen if these courses disappeared? Would anyone even notice?”
- Redevelop “as is” using a supported authoring tool – At first, this approach may seem like the easiest way to go. Nothing is lost, the curriculum remains intact, and learning stays under the radar. But think about it for a moment. Say you have 50 non-critical one-hour courses to redevelop. If each course takes 100 hours to redevelop and test, this project could keep a team of four to five developers busy for over six months! Add to that the fact that a SME would probably need to review and sign off on each course (and want to make some “small” tweaks). A project like this could take the better part of a year. All focused on non-critical courses! Is that how your team should be spending their time?
As a Learning Leader, we know you are dealing with huge challenges right now. Hopefully, this blog stimulated some ideas and will help you strategize your plan for dealing with your Flash issue.
Want to learn more about transforming your Flash eLearning? Need help with transforming your Flash eLearning? We’d love to connect. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org