- Demonstration mode (“show me”): Records what’s going on on-screen, but with no user interaction in the Flash movie output. Useful to get your learners oriented to a process or user interface (or just to show them how cool your new system is). Captivate automatically adds text captions that label what’s happening.
- Training simulation mode (“try it”): Captivate automatically adds click boxes, text entry boxes, and feedback (failure/hint captions). Your learner can interact and perform within the simulation.
- Assessment simulation mode (“test me”): The click boxes and text entry boxes are there, but the feedback isn’t. You can actually assess your learner’s ability to use the system.
Here’s the kicker: you can rig Captivate to capture in all three modes at the same time. You don’t have to capture three different times; separate output is available for all three modes.
There is also a custom mode available that allows you to create hybrid “demo-sims.” You can use your imagination as you get more comfortable.
Think about it. If you’re short on time, you can take your learner through a rapidly-built “show me-try it-test me” process that actually requires them to perform in a closely simulated environment before they have to go live.
Is it perfect? No way. You’ll need to polish your captures before you publish. Don’t worry: it’s fairly easy to edit the text captions, straighten/speed up the mouse pointer, and make sure the timing is correct. Still, it’s remarkable how quickly you get get something effective to your learners.
The output is also SCORM-compliant, and can be tracked easily by an LMS (such as Litmos). We’ll soon look at ways to use Captivate with your LMS, but here’s a teaser: Captivate’s Advanced Interaction screen allows you to set or disable tracking/scoring/reporting for every action your learner takes.
If you have mission-critical systems training (like financial or electronic medical records), you may want to know how your learners perform on a click-by-click basis. If you don’t want to look under the microscope, you can just track whether or not they’ve looked at parts of the course. It’s your call. Talk to your Litmos team about how to use Captivate output with the Litmos system.
Tip: There’s lots of great conversation about Captivate on Twitter. According to soon-to-be Adobe eLearning Evangelist RJ Jacquez (@rjacquez), a good bet is to search for and use the #AdobeCaptivate hashtag. If you’re new to Twitter and hashtags, here’s a Captivate demo from RJ on how to add a column on TweetDeck for the #AdobeCaptivate hashtag (how meta!).
We’ll look more deeply at Captivate 5 and look at its feature set (this version, for instance, allows you to set up master slides much as PowerPoint does). We’re also going to look at Articulate Studio ’09 and its own magic bullet(s). Stay tuned!
Here’s a secret about your learning management system (LMS): it’s rarely used to its full potential. The Litmos crew tells me that clients often have questions about how to “get stuff online.” The questions may seem strange, but the same dysfunctional process plays out all over.
If you’re relatively new to the process of getting your organization’s knowledge ready for eLearning, take heart. There is an extraordinary amount of information out there. Over the coming weeks, we’re going to talk about strategies to get your stuff online, and we’re going to direct you to some favorite resources. Of course, we can only scratch the surface—we encourage you to add your favorites in the comments.
- A client engages an LMS vendor as part of a single, extraordinary training effort (New system! New product! Merger! Revolution!). A consultant builds fabulous eLearning, the LMS people create a model for a repeatable (and scalable) user experience, employees learn and perform, the LMS tracks and reports—but that’s it. No more engagement. There’s no momentum, because nobody at the client organization is empowered to fully use the LMS by getting additional content into the system.
- A client has an LMS relationship in place, and all kinds of assets ripe for conversion: PowerPoint® decks, PDF files, Word® docs, static intranet material, new hire/orientation packages, etc. Unfortunately, the mass of collective knowledge sits there, diffuse, gathering dust…
- You have an LMS environment in place (such as with Litmos), or you are in a position to set one up. This environment gives your learners a place to go when they need to build knowledge and skills, and allows you to monitor what your learners find most effective.
- You have content. Lots of content. Reams of content. This is the hard part. Your people could have access to organized and engaging, rather than semi-accessible and static, content. Example: imagine how your workforce could (really) internalize your company’s marketing strategy, if only they actively participated in eLearning modules instead of just doing some reading.
e-Learning and the Science of Instruction (Ruth Colvin Clark and Richard E. Mayer): Fantastic first read about eLearning. and a terrific example of theory-into-practice. Consider this: if you practice what the authors preach, you’ll have a strong idea of how to use text, visuals, audio, and interactivity. As important: you’ll know why.
Better than Bullet Points—Creating Engaging eLearning with PowerPoint (Jane Bozarth): Let’s face it. This software is everywhere. That’s why I like this book. It’s an excellent complement to e-Learning and the Science of Instruction. If you are just getting started, it might surprise you to realize that PowerPoint is a perfectly fine blank canvas for eLearning. Furthermore, you probably already have some PowerPoint skills. Why is this a foundational book? You will not only gain a wealth of hands-on experience (that transfers to other tools), you will also avoid the monsters of bad eLearning: page-turners and endless bullet points.