If you are responsible for e-learning courses that contain Adobe Flash-based elements, you will probably be aware that they will no longer be usable after the end of this year. By then,  Adobe will cease to support the Flash Player, which is already deactivated in the main browsers by default. So, if those courses will continue to be needed, the SWF content will have to be converted to HTML5 format. How complex and expensive that work will be, depends on several factors, such as:

    1. What are the types and quantity of the SWF content?
    2. On what types of devices do you expect the courses to be used?
    3. With what authoring tool(s) were the courses created?
    4. To what extent does the content need to be modernised anyway?
    5. In what LMS will the courses need to be made available in future?

Whilst the phase-out of Flash Player could turn out to be a considerable challenge for some organisations, it is also an opportunity to review:

    1. The effectiveness of your existing e-learning materials and how they could/should be improved
    2. Whether production of e-learning courses should in future be carried out more in-house or externally than in the past
    3. Whether there are more appropriate authoring tools than those that have been used in the past and what a switch to a more appropriate one would entail

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to identify the best way to proceed. Each individual set of circumstances and objectives needs to be assessed on its own merits. That is where Sapiram can help. Through our close partnership with Lieve Weymeis (aka Lilybiri), one of the most renowned experts on Adobe Captivate (considered by many as the world’s leading authoring tool for e-learning courses), we are able to offer you conversion of Flash content and related in-depth consultancy (see Partnership with Lieve Weymeis aka Lilybiri).

Next steps

If you would like to discuss how Sapiram could help you deal with Flash-based content or more generally with the integration of e-learning into your training, please send us a message via our Contact Form.

* Here is some additional information on the planned phase-out of Flash Player in browsers:

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer

As of 9 April 2020, Microsoft's position is described in their "Update on removing Flash from Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer" as follows: “In the next version of Microsoft Edge (built on Chromium), we will continue to retire Flash in the same timeframe as other Chromium based browsers. You can learn more of that timeline in this blog post. Flash will initially be disabled, and the user will need to re-enable Flash on a site-by-site basis; Flash will be completely removed from the browser towards the end of 2020." and "Specifically, we no longer intend to update either Microsoft Edge (built on EdgeHTML) or Internet Explorer 11 to disable Flash by default. We still plan to fully remove Flash from these browsers by December 2020, as originally communicated."

At https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2017/07/25/flash-on-windows-timeline/ Microsoft also states: "By the end of 2020, we will remove the ability to run Adobe Flash in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer across all supported versions of Microsoft Windows. Users will no longer have any ability to enable or run Flash."

Mozilla Firefox

According to Mozilla’s roadmap for Firefox (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Plugins/Roadmap) as of 9 April 2020, “In December 2020, Flash support will be completely removed from consumer versions of Firefox. Adobe will stop shipping security updates for Flash at the end of 2020.”

Chrome

The roadmap (https://www.chromium.org/flash-roadmap) as of 9 April 2020 states that Flash has been disabled from Chrome 76+ by default since July 2019 and that "Flash support/ capability will be removed from Chromium.",  "(Target: Chrome 88+ - Jan 2021)".

Apple browsers

The iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch never supported Flash. On the Mac, Flash has not been pre-installed since 2010, but it can - at least at present in April 2020 - still be run on a Mac, if it is downloaded and installed. (https://webkit.org/blog/7839/adobe-announces-flash-distribution-and-updates-to-end/).