Adobe Captivate News & Resources

Captivate on Google Chrome

There have been many reports of user having playback issues with their HTML5 output from Captivate (i.e. sound and/or video not playing back properly). While those investigations are ongoing, one issue specific to Google Chrome (v.36) has been addressed by Adobe.

Per the Adobe Blog, there are two primary issues:

  • Issue 1: HTML 5 content freezes on launch in Chrome 36 with a JavaScript error.
  • Issue 2: Slide backgrounds with gradients may not appear correctly.

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Defining mLearning

In the previous article, I opined on the definition of eLearning. What better to follow-up with than a definition of mLearning?

The term ‘mLearning’ is a bit narrower than ‘eLearning’, of course, due to its specific focus on mobile devices and access. Wikipedia reveals this definition,

“m-learning or mobile learning is defined as ‘learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices.’ A form of e-learning distance education, m-learners can use mobile device educational technology in many locations at their time convenience.”

The article includes a solid number of references, history, and details and is a good read in itself. Now I’d like to add a bit of my perspective…

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Defining eLearning

It is generally accepted by now that eLearning provides several advantages to most any organization’s training initiatives. From cost-savings to enhanced retention, eLearning is actually recognizing those goals and continues to hold great promise…but what exactly is “eLearning”?

eLearning is commonly understood as ‘training facilitated by a computer’, but the definitions are wide and varied. Can eLearning be closely defined? Does it need to be? With the improved capabilities of mobile devices, the term ‘mLearning’ has arisen…which brings about another discussion on best-practices and how it differs from eLearning. For the sake of this article, we’ll stick with eLearning as the overall umbrella term.

If a sales representative needs to know the latest product specifications and receives the new PDF brochure on his iPhone, is that eLearning? Sure, why not? He learned something on his mobile computing device – meeting several definitions. Whether web-based educational content is accessed via an online university, a corporate LAN, or a simple web search – it can all be ‘eLearning’…though surely various experts and groups prefer less nebulous definition.

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PowerPoint for Courseware Development

Despite the many naysayers, PowerPoint is a fine place to start with eLearning development – whether the ultimate goal is to just convert those presentations to actual courseware or to use the deck as an initial storyboard for further development with more substantial tools like Storyline or Captivate (or any of the other plethora of eLearning tools).

PowerPoint has a place in eLearning development. I’ve worked with hundreds of PPT files over the years, from standard presentations to pre-production storyboards to ILT conversion. Here are some ideas how to fit PowerPoint in to your eLearning production process.

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Techsmith Repository

Techsmith provides several excellent tools useful in eLearning courseware development. Someday I hope to provide a post with an actual bit of depth regarding my favorite Techsmith tool, Camtasia.

This quickie post, however, could be just be considered more a prominent bookmark.

While I have the latest version (as of this posting) of Captivate 8 on my primary machine, I recently needed to install version 6 to work with a colleague’s file. How to do that isn’t readily apparent on Techsmith’s site and it took a little searching to find Techsmith’s Previous Release Download Center.

Got the old 6.0.3 installer, dug up my old key, made the needed project edits, and sent the updated source back to my colleague.

Easy-peasy :)

 

Adobe’s Edge-y HTML5 Development Tools

With Flash being increasingly dismissed for many web projects, Adobe needed an answer to replace at least some of that functionality with a tool that used HTML/JS…resulting in the Edge suite of tools.

Here’s Wikipedia’s entry on the Edge tools. I’m not sure the overview paragraph is terribly accurate, but it’s a good reference page overall, outside Adobe’s site.

That said, Flash isn’t entirely out of the game. With CreateJS integrated, Flash can output to HTML5 Canvas, creating solid images, charts, and animations. I consider this the beginning of the Flash IDE transformation. Until it moves further, however, the Edge tools provide a lot of the otherwise missing HTML functionality.

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ADA/508/504 and Video Accessibility

A little old, but still highly relevant, from the November 2013 Streaming Media West conference came a session titled “Best Practices for Implementing Accessible Video Captioning” . Representatives from Dell, T-Mobile, and Google/YouTube discussed video captioning, mobile video, and video translation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) covers federal, state, and local jurisdictions, and applies to a wide range of domains, including employment, public entities, telecommunications, and places of public accommodation.

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Project Narration Guidelines (for eLearning, or most anything)

If your eLearning project calls for narration – whether to enhance the on-screen content, provide navigation instruction, to address 508/Accessibility requirements, or just to have an extra bit of media within your piece (the suitability of all to be ideally determined in your instructional design phase) – there are essentially two approaches: Record it yourself (or ‘in-house’) or Hire a professional.

In-house narration can be worthwhile for a variety of reasons. For example, if a faculty member or subject-matter expert is well-known, having that SME record the narration can lend some weight to the overall engagement and perceived validity of the course; or if you need to work out the timing of various media elements, recording a temporary ‘scratch’ track can certainly help with production and beta reviews of the product before expenses are incurred using professional talent.

Professional narration does usually add a cost to the projects, of course, but with proper management of the script and resources, it doesn’t have to be expensive. The advantages of clean, clear, and properly-enunciated narration can only help improve the overall quality of the project.

If you work with outside, professional narrators – or even experienced narrators in-house – Rebecca Haugh (a narrator we’ve used often) has published a solid set of 5 Tips for eLearning Voice Recording. And of course, those are solid considerations to keep in mind when you are recording narration internally with less-experienced folks.

Having developed, managed, and even recorded untold numbers of narratives for eLearning projects, here are a few additional guidelines (some of which Rebecca touches on as well):

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Creative Cloud 2014 Release

A new release of Adobe’s Creative Cloud is a mere few hours away! We look forward to this significant release and expect solid innovation (i.e. 3D printing support added to Photoshop!). Whether because they want to or really have little choice, professionals are continuing to take up Creative Cloud subscriptions; there are currently more than 1.3 million CC subscribers!

The 2014 release of Creative Cloud is coming: Watch the keynote live online.

On June 18th at 1pm ET see the next evolution of Creative Cloud. All-new desktop and mobile apps, new creative hardware, hundreds of new features and other surprises – all designed to accelerate your creativity and make everything you do every day easier and faster.

Watch the free keynote live on June 18th.

The CC 2014 release (note the addition of a  year to ‘CC’, so there IS some versioning in place, thanksfully) will not replace or overwrite any previous versions you may have installed on your computer and should run side-by-side with earlier software. You can decide when to upgrade and/or uninstall prior versions.

After the CC 2014 launch event, Adobe will commence the Create Now 2014 World Tour – a free live seminar in various citites where you can learn the latest about Creative Cloud, try new products, sharpen design skills, and get inspired!

Check out the Creative Cloud Mosaic fun…

New Recipe (CP7 and Video)

In case you missed it, we’ve got a new (and the first) sample piece up on the Recipes page.  this example was created in Captivate 7 to demonstrate two concepts:

  1. How to do a simple ‘clickspot’ (or ‘hotspot’) overlay on video; using a ‘slide video’ on the timeline with clickspots placed at various points, pausing the video, to allow users to interact with the piece.
  2. Showing how an MP4 placed as an ‘Event video’ allows video-specific controls which will work on both desktop (SWF) and mobile (HTML5) output. Event videos in CP are the only way to show video-specific controls, but you cannot then accurately time other timeline events with those videos as they have their own controls.

Head over to the Recipes section to check it out!