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Conquering HTML5 As An Effective E-Learning Authoring Tool: 5 Common Problems And Solutions

16th December, 2016
Noida, India

With the growing popularity of mobile devices, utility of the mobile platform is growing as well. More than a handheld device for making phone calls, the mobile platform provides multiple benefits like internet access – and therefore, checking mails, online shopping,meeting job deadlines on-the-go and even online learning. This has brought on a majorshift in the learning industry as a lot of content is now being designed for web access on varied learner devices – laptop, desktop, smartphones or tablets. In this regard, the emergence of HTML5 based e-learning authoring tools have been a boon for developers. With legacy authoring tools, while the content is interactive and visually impressive, it can often not be compatible with the handheld device of the learner. In contrast, HTML5 is flexible and offers hassle-free user experiences as well as greater consistency among all popular web browsers.

However, there are some important considerations to be taken into account which many developers face while working with HTML5 as an authoring tool. The good news is that most of them have easy solutions as well.

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1. Overcoming Media format issues: While working with another popular development tool - Flash, it is possible to create content using only a couple of media formats. HTML5 is plug-in free and allows a uniform mobile learning experience. While inserting audio or video into the e-learning content, we can add video directly in the HTML5 code. Thus the content will run on mobile devices without relying on third-party plug-ins or applications. However, on the hind side, it can cause issues with media formats as different browsers use different formats.

To avoid any viewing glitches, use a couple of formats to accommodate different browsers and different internet connections. An easier way to avoid format issues when creating e-learning courses is to use a tool with a built in HTML player.

2. Overcoming Browser compatibility issues: HTML performance depends upon the browser's compatibility. Most new browsers are HTML5-ready–Chrome, IE 10-11, or Firefox. As there are no extra plug-ins required, the device space will not be clogged with unnecessary software. However, some organizations insist on older browsers, which may not be compatible with HTML, for safety and compliance. In this case, remember to utilize tools that automatically convert HTML5 content for older browsers.

3. Overcoming the challenge when HTML code is visible: With HTML5, the user's device renders the files. Means the viewer can see JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. This may prove to be a nagging problem while protecting intellectual property.To overcome code copying, some developers "minify" their work, which involves removing all unnecessary characters from the source code without changing its functionality. This makes the content difficult to be copied. While this might be time consuming during development cycle, it is necessary when you want to protect your content.

4. Overcoming the challenge of changing HTML5 standards: As an emergent technology, HTML5 standards are subject to change. Keeping up with browser updates and specification changes can be a continuing challenge. The way around it is to use a tool which can update to the latest technologies automatically and hence, it is wise to choose an authoring tool that will future-proof your work.

5. Overcoming the challenge of creating animations with HTML5: To make e-learning content vibrant and engaging, animations are a popular tool – among developers and learners alike. HTML5 doesnot use the same Flash-based technology, and this can cause some issues when viewing animations on older browsers. While in the past, there werenot many options for creating HTML5 animations, there is no dearth of HTML5 based apps that provide animation options.

Source and suggested further reading: How to overcome the top 5 HTML5 elearning challenges

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