HTML5 in eLearning : How to Overcome the Limitations of Flash.

HTML5 in eLearning : How to Overcome the Limitations of Flash.

Written by Tarun Kumar Posted December 6, 2013 by Carolina
Tarun Kumar

Tarun Kumar

Flash for eLearning & its Limitations

Until recently, Flash has been predominantly used to deliver eLearning content. Through Flash, we can develop intuitive, interactive and self-explanatory online content which can be played on most devices. However it cannot be used on most mobile platforms. There's a tendency to overlook the fact that Flash allows you to publish to an HTML5 output including all the necessary JavaScript and canvas settings.

Plug-ins like Create.Js provide content developers more options for developing interactive content that can be published from one development platform to mobile platforms like Android and iOS.

If you're looking at Flash strictly as a means of publishing contents, then it is limited, but the ability to create various contents makes it quite versatile.

Flash has become a crutch for a lot of designers and now they feel the need to start designing for a new era using different paradigms. There will be many Flash legacy development projects that will need support for years to come, but all future training initiatives should be mobile first with HTML5.


  • No support for adaptive rendering/responsive designs
  • Less flexibility
  • No support on mobile platforms
  • Uses high processing and battery power

Advent of HTML5 in eLearning

Historically most eLearning content has been developed using Adobe Flash. It's an established and very widely used technology. But unfortunately, it's not compatible with many mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. And with mobile devices increasingly becoming necessary business tools, Flash-based education carries the risk of becoming outdated.

In today's world, content needs to be responsively designed so that it is independent of screen size, and adaptively designed so that it is appropriate to the device and its capabilities. Content that can't adapt to a smaller screen may be hidden on smaller devices. We should always aim to deliver content compatible with devices of all screen sizes to avoid alienating any potential users.

Benefits of HTML5

HTML5 Software Development

  • Widely used for offering content on the Web
  • A great option for creating eLearning material
  • Supports rich media, graphics, animations and interactions
  • Works well across modern browsers such as Internet Explorer (IE) 9/10, and all latest versions of Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox
  • Most importantly it is compatible with modern mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets of both Android and iPhone platform

Limitations of HTML5

  • Not supported on older browsers such as IE 6, 7 and 8
  • Possible shortage of developers being that it's fairly new to the market.

Myths on SCORM and HTML5

SCORM is basically a collection of standardized JavaScript calls embedded in a page that was delivered to the student's browser. These calls enable the course content (running in the user's browser window) to communicate back to a SCORM layer running inside the LMS that is delivering the training.

SCORM has nothing to do with HTML5. The challenge of HTML5 is not SCORM compatibility, but is in fact creating HTML5 content that is compatible across the multiple browsers.


eLearning is a growing field and investment involves acquiring new costly tools and technologies. We want our learning materials, eLearning courses, performance support tools and additional resources to be as accessible as possible and as long lived as possible. So yes, the technical format you choose does matter. We also want our materials to be intuitive and creative enough so our learners can enjoy their training. Therefore we have to think about user experience based on the variety of audiences we have.


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies were written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned.

Chetu's e-Learning team implements solutions for the e-Learning industry. Chetu differentiates itself in providing industry specific expertise combined with its low cost, high productivity model. You can find more information about the portfolio of our e-Learning experience at:

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