Legacy eLearning

cassette tape“Legacy eLearning” refers to any training that was developed using software that is outdated, unsupported, or incompatible with current learning systems. For example, Adobe Flash, which was once popular for eLearning content, is now incompatible with most mobile devices, including Android and iOS. Even desktop browsers such as Firefox block Flash content by default and users may struggle to keep Flash up to date.

Legacy development tools have been criticized for many reasons, but the following two problems remain the most prominent ones.

  1. Most of these tools force developers to be dependent on a specific vendor or program.
  2. Many of them tend to cause bugs and issues when developers try to integrate the legacy program with newer, more modern tools.

So, what can instructional designers do to convert legacy programs to modern eLearning?

First, course creators need to familiarize themselves with current eLearning standards. Although there are many programming languages and tools out there, the industry standard markup language, at this time, is HTML5. In a nutshell, HTML5 is recognized as a great standard because it can do a lot of complicated tasks, such as playing movies, music, animations, and even more complex applications, without requiring users to download numerous plug-ins.

The next step in the conversion process is to determine business requirements. Does the organization require employees to use a specific browser? Will learners be able to access training on their desktop computers and mobile devices alike? This would be a great time to meet with the IT department to find out if there are any potential roadblocks. As noted above, most organizations support web browsers that use HTML5; however, this should still be confirmed as fact before moving forward on the project.

Once the system’s requirements have been determined, then, the authoring tool that will allow instructional designers to create compatible and user-friendly training can be selected. The following two questions should be considered when selecting the tool with an HTML5 output:

  • Is the tool’s output compatible with the devices learners will use to access training?
  • Is the tool’s output likely to work on various devices for many years to come?
  • Will the eLearning developer have access to support, training materials, and best practice information?

After gathering requirements and determining the authoring tool, it’s time to get into development! For most eLearning developers, this is the fun part of the process! Here, they review the legacy content, and decide if a chunk of information can be transformed directly into an interactive experience for learners, and whether or not a video or audio recording can take the place of bullet points. When analyzing content, instructional designers should take graphics, animations, buttons, drag and drop interactions, and quiz questions into consideration to reinforce objectives, and help learners retain the information.

CourseArc was built using the most current eLearning standards, meaning all of our content outputs HTML5 and works on any device. 

With the use of modern and interactive authoring tools, such as CourseArc, it’s easy to avoid the “Death by PowerPoint” effect, and create engaging ways to transfer knowledge.


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