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HTML5 for Instructional Designers

HTML5 is, “the cornerstone of all modern web apps,” ~ World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Academic using HTML5 eLearning software program

HTML5 ‘Cornerstone of All Modern Web Apps’

HTML5 is now the fifth and most standard version of hyper text markup language, being used by instructional designers, web developers, and digital innovators alike. The World Wide Web Consortium (i.e. W3C) is already calling HTML5, “The cornerstone of all modern web applications” (W3C). The question you may ask is, Do I need to know about HTML5? If you’re working as an educator, instructional designer, training professional, or in web development, then the answer is yes!

Some of the major differences between HTML5 and its predecessor, Flash, is its ability to support modern multimedia, graphics, and responsive web design standards. New elements include

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Popular HTML5 Resources:

  • HTML5 Speed Test: “Test your Internet speed in under 30 seconds with a test performed by Measurement Lab (a partnership between New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University’s PlanetLab, and other supporting partners) a.k.a. M-Lab. This test typically transfers less than 40 MB of data for most users, but may transfer more on fast connections,” (Google Speed Test)
  • HTML5 Video: “Before HTML5, a video could only be played in a browser with a plug-in (like flash). The HTML5
  • HTML5 Video Mobile Design: “The meta tags such as X-UA-Compatible and viewport are needed to force all mobile browsers into a 100% zoom state. That way the users aren’t pinching to zoom into the page every time it’s loaded onto an iPhone or iPad,” (Template Monster)

20 Tools for HTML5 for Instructional Designers:

Online, eLearning or training concept

Online Elearning or training concept

Below, is a list of 20 HTML5 Authoring and Design Tools for eLearning, instructional design, and training professionals. Several of them are among the most popular tools used in the education community, including Adobe Captivate, Adobe Connect, Articulate Storyline and more. Each of the tools listed here can be used by eLearning developers, instructional designers, and training professionals. It’s important to explore a variety of different tools to determine which ones can best serve your individual goals as a designer.

Remember, HTML5 is already having a major impact on the eLearning and instructional design community, globally. It’s highly versatile and supports a huge number of features that are highly desirable among eLearning professionals. Above all else though, it’s popularity stems from the simple fact that it supports the cultural shift towards using smartphones or mobile and tablet devices (e.g. iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, HTC) for everything from casual gaming to legitimate learning, academic or otherwise. Online programs that don’t support these devices, simply can’t compete.

This list of HTML5 eLearning tools offers instructional designers, educators, and training teams a quick and simple way to investigate some of the most heavily supported, technologically advanced, and easy-to-use options for digital course authoring, design and content creation in both the academic and professional realm. So, if you’re looking for a tool or two to help you transition to an HTML5 friendly work process or if you’re just trying to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest software options on the market, then this list is for you.

Our Top HTML5 Options (#1-3):

  1. Articulate Storyline 2 An adaptive learning development tool that lets you create and deploy highly interactive courses. Easy-to-use by beginners but powerful enough for experts.
  2. Camtasia Studio 8 A tool to record videos of content on your own screen to quickly create tutorials, lessons, etc. with powerful editing, animations, and special effects tools to boot.
  3. Adobe Captivate 9 The latest and greatest HTML5 friendly software, Captivate 9 enables you to go from storyboarding to course designing. Plus, it supports HTML5 objects without necessitating plug-ins, so you can manipulate and position animations, etc., as needed. No programing required.

More Popular Options to Explore (#4-20):

  1. Elucidat Elucidat is designed to simplify and speed the elearning production process. You control the aesthetics and personalize the interactions to create highly responsive courses.
  2. Adobe Presenter 11 Presenter’s software works with Microsoft PowerPoint, adding screencasting and video editing elements to help you build interactive presentations and videos.
  3. Adobe Connect Adobe Connect’s web conferencing software offers ID’s an online meeting resource for presentations, training, conferences, modules, desktop sharing, and collaboration.
  4. Tumult Hype Professional Tumult is an app for creating animated and interactive web content. Plus, the pro upgrade to TH3 offers responsive layouts, physics, symbols, etc. without code.
  5. H5P H5P is a free, open-source tool for creating, sharing, and reusing, interactive HTML5 educational or training content on websites. It also works with WordPress, Drupal, and Moodle.
  6. Adapt Learning Adapt is a free and simple e-learning authoring tool. With it you can build content that is responsive and HTML5 friendly for e-learning courses and more.
  7. iSpring Suite iSpring is a rapid learning authoring toolkit. With it you can create interactive, mobile-ready presentations, quizzes, and assessments that can integrate with PowerPoint.
  8. Lectora 16 Lectora is an eLearning development and content creation tool designed to support HTML5. It’s designed for delivering courses on mobile phones, tablets, and desktops.
  9. Raptivity Raptivity’s software keeps beginners in mind and offers access to about 200 interactions (e.g. games, virtual worlds) to easily personalize content. No programming required.
  10. SmartBuilder Smartbuilder is an eLearning authoring tool that helps you to publish and convert course content for HTML5. Plus, free, in depth training, and a help center for beginners.
  11. Composica Authoring System Composica’s e-Learning authoring system helps teams collaborate to build interactive courses for any environment. It also offers object oriented (e.g. C#) tools.
  12. Dominknow’sClaro Claro is a cloud-based authoring system. It’s a rapid-response, all-in-one eLearning and mLearning development tool with real-time collaboration and asset sharing.
  13. Gomo Learning Gomo is a cloud-based, multi-device eLearning authoring and analytics tool. You can collaborate and create responsive and adaptive content from a single HTML code base.
  14. Agylia Agylia (formerly Luminosity) is an eLearning authoring tool for creating HTML5 based courses with flexible text, graphic, animation, audio, video and assessment elements.
  15. SHIFT SHIFT helps speed and simplify course creation and publishing for all screen and device types. It’s also designed with team collaboration in mind. No programming required.
  16. GoConqr GoConqr is a social learning platform supported by a massive community and combines that with the benefits powerful of online learning tools (mind maps, quizzes, courses, etc.).
  17. ARC (In Beta) ARC is a new Canvas-based, online video platform with analytics that allow instructors and admins to learn which videos students watch, for how long, and when they stop in order to optimize videos for clearer communication based on real student behavior.

For more information on what’s happening in the Instruction Design industry, please check out ‘An Instructional Designer’s Suite of Skills‘ and ‘How Flexibility Enhance Learning in Instructional Design‘!

Happy Computing!

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HTML5 for Instructional Designers


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