How to Upload & Publish Adobe Captivate Course on WordPress Website?

It’s been almost a week since i’m hanging out in this E-Learning Community. Following what other members are posting (Question & Blog), i found a very interesting question coming up again n again. The question is: How to Upload & Publish Adobe Captivate Course on WordPress website? To answer this question, i’m writing a proper step by step guide which is going to help you publishing your course on WordPress website.

Here are some threads:
https://elearning.adobe.com/discussion/2612869/
https://elearning.adobe.com/discussion/2212856/
https://elearning.adobe.com/discussion/967803/
https://elearning.adobe.com/discussion/1694974/

Note: It is assumed you have you exported Adobe Captivate course .zip file. I’m not going to show you how to export your files.

Requirements:

To upload your course on WordPress website, you need a Plugin. Let me tell you, there are no free plugin for this task. You have to buy any, but i’m using GrassBlade xAPI Companion WordPress plugin. The developers of this plugin are in this field from last 8 years, this is the trust factor i have with them. Support is good and it is easy to use also this plugin is way more cheaper than others.

Note: I’m not promoting it here, but according to me this the ultimate choice, if you want to do this task. Also this plugin Works with xAPI Tracking only, no SCORM.

Step 1:

Login to your WordPress dashboard.

Step 2:

Install and Activate Plugin.

Step 3:

After activation, you get 2 new option on the left sidebar. xAPI Content (Uploading and Content Management) and GrassBlade (Settings and LRS Configuration).

Step 4:

Go to xAPI Content and Click Add New.

Step 5:

Scroll Down and go to xAPI Content Details.

Step 7:

Now Select your zip file and click update button.

You’re done !! it will upload and publish your course on WordPress site. If you have a big file you can use dropbox option. Connect Dropbox with this plugin and directly import your big files. There is bulk import option also in xAPI content.

Step 8:

Click preview button in Content Detail Section, to view this course. You can use shortcode to show this course on any page. Also you can select, show this course on this page option to use that same page.

Note: If you’re uploading course with xAPI Tracking feature, you must connect this plugin with Learning Record Store (LRS). You can use their GrassBlade LRS or some other, it will work perfectly.

I hope this article will solve problem of many Adobe Captivate and WordPress users. You guys can ask question in comment section, i will try to answer you all.

Thanks for reading follow me for more latest tips and tricks, see you some other day.

The post How to Upload & Publish Adobe Captivate Course on WordPress Website? appeared first on eLearning.

Learning Interactions and Audio

Why?

A question posted recently is at the base of this short post: “a way to stop the main slide audio when a tab on the interaction is clicked”. I pointed to an older blog where you can find some tips for using learning interactions, about their limitations etc. I want to explain why there is no simple solution for this question at all. The audio referred to in the question was slide audio, the used Learning interaction was Tabs. What I explain is also valid for Accordion and Timeline. As I explained in the mentioned blog post, the term ‘Learning Interactions’ was introduced to distinguish the widgets compatible with HTML5 output from the older ‘widgets’ which were created for SWF output. Both have however the same extension ‘wdgt’ and are sometimes both indicated as widget. Terminology can be confusing

Static and Interactive

It seems logical that Learning Interactions are interactive, because they allow the learner to click and interact, and they are listed under the Interactions big button. All have some  of interactions inside. However not all are also ‘Interactive object’ in  Capativate’s timeline. A Captivate interactive object means:

  • It has an Actions tab
  • Under the Actions tab you find up to two events (Success, Last Attempt)
  • A pausing point is automatically inserted at 1.5secs.

You all know the usual interactive objects: button, shape converted to button, Text Entry Box, click box. For those objects you’ll see the pausing point immediately on the slide timeline. Moreover the object timeline, when not selected will be green. Look at this screenshot, where I kept the original generic names to clarify the type of objects.

Learning Interactions are internally interactive but as objects in Captivate they also come in two flavors: static and interactive. You can recognize them also by the presence of the Actions tab, with the possibility of scoring and reporting. However the score in the game interactions have nothing to do with the results of the game (see article link in the Intro).

Interactive interactions can also be identified, based on the generic name in the Timeline panel. In this screenshot I have inserted two interactions: Tabs (static) and Jigsaw Puzzle (interactive). Look at the generic names:

However, if you look carefully you see that both interactions also have a colored timeline, but exactly the opposite of what you expect. Please, support me by logging this bug. You may also wonder about the presence of a pausing point? No pausing point for the interactions? The static interaction has indeed no pausing point, you need to add an interactive object like a button, to keep the slide paused and allow the learner to explore that static interaction. However the Interactive Interaction has a pausing point which is not showing in the Timeline panel, but you’ll find it in the Timing properties.

Audio Problem

The question was about avoiding having slide audio still playing when the user clicks one of the buttons in the Tabs interaction. That interaction allows  to add audio to a button, which is object audio.  Only object audio allows simultaneously playing of multiple audio clips, either from object audio or, in this case, slide audio. Pausing the slide audio, when a button is clicked in the Interaction would need access to the source code of the widget, which is not available. I can only propose two possible solution to avoid hearing two audio clips at the same time.  I will only explain the first solution in this article. The second solution, with a custom interaction will be explained in a later article.

Interaction available after Slide Audio

This is the easiest workflow. The learner would not be able to use the Interaction while the slide audio is playing. With a normal interactive object that would be easy: disable it for a certain time with and On Enter action for the slide and enable after a certain time corresponding with the audio length. However, even an Interactive Interaction cannot be disabled! You need a workaround.

Steps:

  1. Create a static image of the interaction, either using Captivate or another screen capture app like Snagit. Quality should be good to excellent.
  2. Resize that image to the exact size of the Interaction.
  3. Insert the image on the Timeline and time it for the duration of the slide audio.
  4. Move the learning interaction to appear just after the image.
  5. For a static interaction (like Tabs, Accordion….) you need to insert a button or click box to pause the slide. That is not necessary for an interactive Interaction.

Have a look at this screenshot of the Timeline, which illustrates the described steps:

The timelines from bottop to top:

  • Slide audio, about 3,5secs long
  • Tabs Interaction, starts at 3,4 seconds, extends till end of the slide
  • Image of the Tabs interaction, same location and size, starts from the first frame and ends at 3,8secs; overlap with the Interaction is meant to avoid seeing the transition
  • Click box – duration of the slide –  to pause the slide at its end; it could be a Next button as well.

Custom Interaction

Using shared actions, multistate objects, it is perfectly possible to recreate this interaction on a slide. At that moment you have full control over all objects. To avoid multiple audio clips playing at once, the easiest way is to use only audio started with ‘Play Audio’ command.  If you start a second audio with that command, the first one will be stopped automatically. For this example:

  1. Use Play Audio with the On Enter event to replace the slide audio.  That is possible if you don’t need Closed Captioning.
  2. Use Play Audio in the actions triggered by the Tabs buttons. Clicking the button will automatically stop the previous audio, whether it is the audio started On Enter, or the Audio started with another Tabs button. Object audio would also be possible, if you use the command ‘Stop Triggered Audio’ to stop the first audio clip started On Enter.

Do you want to see the setup for such a custom interaction? Let me know.

The post Learning Interactions and Audio appeared first on eLearning.

How does the brain learn?

How does the brain learn?

As instructional designers, we all know how people learn, but do you know the science behind it? How can we use what we know about science to help us engage the brain and improve learning?

The brain is constantly restructuring in response to learning and the environment. This is known as plasticity. Plasticity involves creating and strengthening neural connections and weakening or removing others. Every time you learn, your brain uses plasticity to develop new neural pathways.

Repetition is key

How do we avoid losing the knowledge we want to retain? Well, the most simplistic way to put this is ‘use it’. If you don’t, you may lose neuronal pathways that haven’t been used.

So how do we avoid this? If you can, set your learners up with frequent knowledge refreshers. This could be a quiz about the information they learned, or a repetition of key information later on in the course.

How we remember

One of the most recognizable learning studies was one done by BF Skinner. In this study, he evaluated the interaction between rats and pigeons and food levers. Animals were placed in cages with levers that would release food pellets if the correct item was selected. With success, these selections gradually became more difficult. Based on this study, he concluded that complex tasks can be learned through practice and reward for behaviors.

Similarly to this study, people learn complex tasks quickly and more effectively with practice and rewards upon success. Adding practice items or badges and points to your learning materials may improve the knowledge retained by your learners.

The overload effect

Popular learning types may result in learning overload, or too much information being given for the brain to process. With a hefty amount of information, users may run into an effect called ‘cognitive overload’, which causes the brain to become overwhelmed.

To avoid this, chunk pieces of information into small sections (ideally, five minutes or less at a time) and avoid information that isn’t essential. Materials that are sectioned into separate, smaller learning sessions will allow the brain to fully process information and will avoid cognitive overload.

Takeaways 

When you’re creating instructional content, it’s important to know how the brain learns. By keeping in mind how the brain remembers, you can create more effective learning content and help your users retain the knowledge that they’ve gained.

The post How does the brain learn? appeared first on eLearning.

How to Create Animated GIFs for a Process Interaction

create animated gif

Animated .gifs are great for e-learning. Often, I like to use them instead of videos for e-learning interactions, especially process interactions that go through a sequence of steps.

Today I’ll show a simple way to convert a video of a process into smaller animated .gifs that you can insert into a slide, article, or process interaction.

Demo of the Animated Gifs in a Process Interaction

Here’s a demo I created using Rise and the Process Interaction.

 

animated gif example

Click here to view the example.

Animated Gifs Tutorials

Below are a couple of tutorials that go into it in more detail:

Animated Gifs: Create a Procedural Video

Record a video of the process. Don’t worry about the audio as it will be removed. To keep the edits to a minimum, make sure to be clear on the steps and to not waste a lot of movement. Get to the point quickly.

At our workshop in Milan, David and I quickly recorded the process to make an espresso with the machine in the back of the room. While we pretended to be working, it was really a way for us to sneak in a few more shots of espresso.

Here’s the original video.

Click to play the video on YouTube.

Animated Gifs: Convert the Video to Gif

There are a number of ways to convert video to animated .gifs. I like to use Screen2Gif because it’s free (which is always good) and it is really easy to use.

The conversion process is simple: import the video and convert it. However, there are some key considerations.

The original .MP4 video is 159 MB at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Animated .gifs can be large, really large.  Without any significant edits, the 159 MB video becomes a 470 MB animated .gif. That’s just not manageable.

There are a few things you can do to decrease the file size of the animated .gifs:

  • Scale the video down from it’s original resolution. There’s no need for an HD quality .gif. In this case 1920 x 1080 will be sized down to 500 x 281.
  • Crop the video to just the critical pieces of info. The fewer frames the smaller the file size. You can always duplicate frames to keep something on screen longer with minimal impact to size.
  • The less difference there is with the pixels from one frame to the next, the smaller the file will be. Unfortunately, video isn’t static and those millions of pixels are changing from frame to frame. You could try to shoot against a solid background and with a tripod. That may help, depending on your subject.
  • Video runs at about 30 frames per second (FPS). When you convert the video to .gif, you can modify the frame rate to something like 10 to 15. It just depends on how much motion is in the video. The less motion, the more you can lower the frame rate.

Animated Gifs: Edit to Individual Steps

Unless the steps are very short and can be shown in one file, it makes sense to break the steps up to individual parts. That helps reduce the file size and keeps the focus on very specific parts of the process.

  • You can import the entire video and then cut it down. Or cut the video into smaller videos first and work with them individually. It’s probably easier to edit the videos first and then import the smaller videos. This is more manageable and less strain on your system.
  • Get rid of what you don’t need, cut out extra frames.
  • The animated .gifs loop, so it may make sense to add a little buffer at the front or back end to let the user orient to the start and end of the process.

The original video was 1 minute long. Converted to an animated .gif without edits, it was 470 MB. After cutting it into pieces and creating four smaller gifs, the total ended up being about 15 MB. That’s a pretty significant difference and the output works well for the demo.

That’s basically it, shoot a video and then convert it to animated gif.


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Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Interactivity in Software Tutorials?

Intro

Whenever a comparison of eLearning authoring tools is published, Captivate still is considered to be the best tool for creation of software tutorials. That has been indeed the primary goal when Captivate was released many years ago. I have been choosing it many years ago (with version 1) for that feature as well. Too bad that most authors seem to forget that meanwhile it has become to most versatile authoring tool, and is probably more used for its other features (compliance training, scenario training to mention only a few).  It is much easier just to edit an old text than to explore all new features in depth. Sorry for my cynical attitude, had many discussions with authors over that type of articles. F

My first idea was to post this as a discussion, but in the past discussions didn’t have any success at all. Maybe a blog, explaining why I am wondering about the use of Captivate for the creation of software tutorials, explaining the three possible workflows with growing level of interactivity can lead to some feedback anyway.

Workflow 1:  Passive video with Video Demo

Creating a Video Demo leads to passive video output (mp4). The only control of the learner is using the control panel (play, pause…) , or eventually some added functionality (some provide bookmarking) by the platform it is deployed on. There are many alternatives to Captivate’s Video Demo. Presenter Video Xpress is an alternative, but I find the editor much too limited. The Video Demo editor allows a lot more, and you can also use it without webcam, which is impossible with Video Xpress. Camtasia (probably the best tool for this goal) and Snagit are also alternatives, but there are a lot more available.

Use case: perfect for quick demonstrations, which you can use to remember a workflow.

PLUS

  • It doesn’t take too much time to create, especially if you capture narration and video in one workflow and do not bother about much editing.
  • It can easily be published to a  platform like YouTube or Vimeo, reaching a wide public (for free); is also a disadvantage however because of the lack of curation which makes it difficult to find valuable videos in the ‘crowd’. As with most social media there is more ‘fake’ around than valuable stuff.
  • Integration in a website is very easy.
  • It can be used as standalone asset;  the viewer only needs a mp4 player which is available on each system.

MINUS

  • As mentioned above, how will you prove the value on platforms without curation?
  • It is a purely passive tutorial.
  • Viewers expect short videos.  For that reason, normally only one workflow will be presented without any alternatives, nor explanation of the reasons of the used steps. That makes it difficult for the learner to use it in similar but slightly different situations since there is no real ‘foundation’.

Examples

Here is a Video Demo, which will also be included as Interactive Video under Workflow 2

An old example (for versions before 9), one of my first Video Demo’s where I tried to give some in-depth explanation by intensive use of the Video Demo editor can be found on YouTube:

Simple/Standard action

Workflow 2: Interactive Video

This workflow uses the published result of a Video Demo as start for an Interactive Video. That allows you to add overlay content slides, KC slides and can also be combined in a cptx project with other content slides. I think about merging with 360 slides, real quiz slides, adding links to other assets etc. You publish to HMTL5 and have to upload the result to a webserver or LMS. It is a normal cptx project. You can use an embedded video file or refer to a published MP4 file on YouTube (and probably in next version also possible with Vimeo files). For the interactive video slides it is possible to create a menu for easy navigation. You can add branching to KC slides as remediation, either to parts of the video or to content slides outside of the video slide. Here is the link to an example file, which is created from the Video Demo file you have seen under Workflow 1:

Editing Characters with Photoshop

Use case: if you want to offer more in-depth explanation to the video tutorial, more control to the learner including KC checks with remediation.

PLUS

  • Less passive, since the learner can use bookmarks to review part of the slide, KC slides can lead to remediation etc.
  • With content overlay sides (and KC overlay slides) it is possible to offer in-depth information, possible alternatives, explanation why some steps in the video were done in that explicit way, etc
  • Since the result is the same output as from any cptx file, you can combine the interactive video slides with other content slides and/or quiz slides. Navigation between bookmarks in the interactive video and other content slides is very easy to set up.

MINUS

  • There is no platform like YouTube/Vimeo for interactive videos. Difficult to spread quickly to a wide public.
  • Embedding in a website takes more time. You cannot have a standalone version easy to distribute as is the case for pure video files.
  • Creation takes more time than for workflow 1

Workflow 3: Software simulations

I am only pointing to sims in Training or Assessment mode. I would never recommend to use the Demo mode to be published later on to MP4 because Video Demo offers much better quality. Although it is possible to publish to mp4, for those two modes this is not a real option since all interactivity would be lost.

Strangely this is the oldest workflow in Captivate, exists since I started to use it (Captivate 1) and even before when it was still labeled RoboDemo. Contrary to the video demo, this recording process leads to a slide-based cptx-file, which makes management and editing a lot easier. Replacing a draft audio file in a Video Demo can be a pain, but for software sims it is much easier to split the recording of the video part and the recording of the slide audio clips.

Software sims (Training/Assessment) use interactive objects to increase the level of interactivity: the learner has to perform actions, will not just ‘watch’ them done. Interactive objects can always be scored, and reported to a LMS. To my amazement, software sims with that scoring feature were largely appreciated by my former college students as self-assessments. They still didn’t like the real exams of course.

At this moment the biggest problem with software simulations are the slides which cannot be interactive because they show mouse movements/scrolling/dragging. At that moment FMR-slides (Full Motion Recording) are created. Those are SWF-based but will be converted to MP4 when publishing to HTML5. However that process is not working very well, and quality is not satisfactory. I tend to replace those FMR slides by  Video Demo slides. That makes the smooth recording workflow a lot more time consuming.

Use Case: most interactive tutorial, engages the learner better than the other workflows. Almost no limitations for remediation since all types of actions can be used.

PLUS

  • Still highest level of interactivity, both for Training and assessment mode.
  • All features of cptx-files are available.
  • Automatic adding of feedback messages, scoring possible, reporting to LMS with or without more quiz slides or scored objects
  • Easier management and editing due to slide-based approach
  • Audio clips can be added and synchronized later on, need not to be done during the ‘video’ part of the capture.

MINUS

  • Can be more time consuming although with good preparation lot is already automatic.
  • Similar to Workflow 2: need to use a webserver or a LMS, no distribution on platforms like YouTube/Vimeo
  • Standalone version (exe): not sure what the future will be when Flash Player has died
  • Cumbersome workflow if replacing FMR slides by Video Demo slides.

The post Interactivity in Software Tutorials? appeared first on eLearning.

PowerPoint Tip: Here’s a Simple Way to Build E-Learning Graphics

PowerPoint tip graphics

Here’s a PowerPoint tip: build your e-learning course graphics in PowerPoint. PowerPoint is great for simple graphic design projects. In fact, I use it quite a bit for this blog and some of the graphics I need in my e-learning demos.

In a previous post, I shared visual design tips for graphics I built in Rise 360 for an e-learning scenario. All of those graphics were built in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint for graphic design example 5

In this example, the images all need to be wide, but short rectangles so that I could get them about the same height as the text and squeeze them as close as possible to the button stacks in Rise 360.

I created a custom slide size 13 x 4 inches. When I save the PowerPoint slides as images that results in an image that is 1280 x 384 pixels.

Here’s a detailed tutorial that walks through the process of creating similar graphics in PowerPoint. I cover a lot of little PowerPoint tips.

Click here to view the PowerPoint tutorial on YouTube.

The links below take you to specific parts of the tutorial. The last two links show how to create the final pill shape with the character’s head extended outside of the image.

The tutorial above shows how I created the images. But here are a few key points to consider.

PowerPoint Tip: Step Away from PowerPoint as a Presentation Tool

If you’ve read much of this blog, you know that I’m a big advocate for using PowerPoint to build simple graphics. It’s easy to use, most people have it, and there’s not much you can’t create with PowerPoint once you learn a few things.

Is it Photoshop or Illustrator? No! And if you have expertise with those tools, then have at it. But for those who don’t have a graphics editor and need a simple solution, give PowerPoint a try.

PowerPoint tip for e-learning graphics

Here are some previous posts that show what you can do:

PowerPoint Tip: Save Slides as Images

Whatever you build in PowerPoint you can right-click and save as an image. I usually save as .PNG. This preserves the color clarity and any transparency. If you save as .JPG, the transparent areas fill with white.

PowerPoint tip right click save as image

For most cases (especially when working with Rise 360), I like to use the slide as my entire image. So I build what I need and then save the slide as image rather than PPTX. While there are a number of image options, like above, I stick with .PNG.

PowerPoint tip save slide as image

PowerPoint Tip: Create Custom Slide Sizes

The default PowerPoint slide is 16 x 9 aspect ratio. In most cases that is fine. It works great for Rise 360. However, there may be times when you want a custom slide. For example, if you want a square image, you need to change the slide size. I usually use 10 inches by 10 inches which gives me an image that is close to 1000 x 1000 pixels (give or take).

Go to the Design Tab and select Slide Size to change the settings.

PowerPoint tip slide size

PowerPoint Tips: Install Studio 360

Many of you are you are using Articulate 360 which comes with Rise 360 and Storyline 360. Those are obviously the go-to apps for building courses. Because of this, many people ignore Studio 360 which comes with Articulate 360.

PowerPoint tip Characters

Even if you don’t use Studio 360 to build courses (why would you when you have Rise 360), it’s still a good idea to install it. The main reason is that you get access to all of the assets including the characters from Content Library 360. And when you build graphics for your e-learning courses, especially as I did in Rise 360, it helps to have all of the characters in PowerPoint.

If you aren’t using a graphics editor or don’t know how, then PowerPoint is a really easy way to build graphics for you e-learning courses.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events


Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Demo on ‘Windows 7 OS’ Simulation

This is Video of Demonstration of “Windows 7 OS simulation” developed in/using Captivate.

The main Simulation would be uploaded in Blog section. This video shows how to use the simulation.

Note: After seeing this, don’t forget to see (feel) REAL simulation uploaded in Blog section of this site.

The post Demo on ‘Windows 7 OS’ Simulation appeared first on eLearning.

Giving Away My Captivate 2017 Course For FREE!

Hey gang, I’ve decided to start giving away my premium course over on Udemy.com. All you have to do to receive this course is…

Subscribe to my YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/paulwilsonlearning
Take a screen capture showing you subscribe
Follow me on Twitter @CaptivateTeachr
Tweet that screen capture to me @CaptiveTeachr and I will DM you a link that includes a coupon code to get you the course for free

Here are the details on the course…

Adobe Captivate 2017 – Responsive Custom Quiz Questions

Learn to use variables, advanced actions, multi-state objects, and fluid box responsive design

In this course, you will learn how to…

  • create a responsive design interface for your question slides in Adobe Captivate using fluid boxes
  • setup variables to keep track of the selections made by the users of your eLearning course
  • write advanced actions that will form the basis of the interaction for your users
  • write conditional actions that will validate if your user has submitted the correct answers to your questions
  • convert your questions to become scored final quiz questions

This course was originally created using Adobe Captivate 2017 but all the lessons are still applicable to Adobe Captivate 2019. In fact, in 2019 a few things are even easier to do.

The post Giving Away My Captivate 2017 Course For FREE! appeared first on eLearning.