Technology Migration

We helped a global NGO to retain their huge investment in eLearning courses using latest technology and
innovative methods at minimal costs.

A large global not-for-profit humanitarian organization which is into providing emergency assistance, disaster relief and disaster preparedness education invested heavily in developing eLearning courses more than a decade ago. This was a commendable radical step they took during that time when teaching vocational courses such as training a lifeguard at a swimming pool through self-learning courses online was unheard of. It was definitely a bold step and they had to really make the courses as close to real instructor lead as possible for people to adopt. This required the eLearning courses to be really engaging and interesting with interactivities, videos, audios, animations, engaging games, assessments, scoring, etc.During those days Adobe Flash was the prevailing and popular software for developing courses of this nature. Therefore they used Adobe Flash to develop more than 100 learning hours of courses involving interactivity, animation, gaming, audio/video, etc. They spent in the excess $1 MM over a period of more than a year to develop because it involved number of activities such as story boarding, instructional design, copy writing, course design, assessment, games, video and photo shooting, etc.

This transition from classroom based training to online eLearning really paid off as they were able cover large number of people in quick time and enabled people to learn at their convenience. Enrollments to the courses increased which not only helped in improving the quality of emergency assistance and disaster relief but also resulted in prevention of number of incidents. Subsequently all their instruction led training was slowly converted to online eLearning. However, with the technology evolution and advent of mobile devices especially Apple iOS, the support for Adobe Flash was withdrawn. More and more users wanted to access the courses using their iPhone or iPad but Adobe Flash components wouldn’t render

Conversion from Flash to HTML5

Therefore, enrollments to the courses started dropping.

The organization was entirely dependent on eLearning based education and wanted some solution to overcome the problem without losing the heavy investment they have already made.

iPowerFour solutions team engaged with the client and did a thorough technology evaluation including reviewing the implementation and information architecture. They then came up with a technology solution to migrate all the courses in Flash to HTML5 and JavaScript. They came up with a migration strategy along with a technology architecture which will enabled using most of the artifacts and accomplish the migration in a highly cost effective manner. A framework was developed using one of the courses which was then used to migrate all other courses. Following are some of the implementation specific actions that solutions team took

  • Analyzed the structure of the course and separated out code, content and meta information.
  • An object oriented JavaScript framework was developed. With framework every lesson is presented by referring to an XML which provides the specification, the content and the media assets.
  • All lessons, modules and courses were stitched together in a manifest file which the framework will read and render.
  • The completion criteria for lessons, assessments, games, etc were also externally defined which the framework will use.
  • The code that was written in Adobe ActionScript for games, etc was converted to JavaScript without reinventing anything. The logic was retained and only the programming language was changed.
  • All Flash animations were converted to video formats such as MP4 using off the shelf tools.
  • Videos that were developed in Flash were also converted to new video formats with off the shelf tools.
  • Responsiveness was built using HTML5, CSS3, etc., to render the content in different devices of various form factors.

BUSINESS IMPACT

All investment on the original legacy courses retained

Object Oriented JavaScript framework enabled migrating may courses easily

Migration costs were reduced due initial analysis and innovation

Due to responsiveness courses accessible on all devices – Enrollments increased drastically