The Adobe Learning Summit 2017 – A Lot of Bang for Your Buck!



This past Tuesday a colleague and I were fortunate enough to attend the Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas, NV. I went in with high hopes and I wasn’t disappointed. The amount of information presented is almost overwhelming, there was simply so much to learn and so many practical tips. The presenters not only demonstrated mini-projects they had built for the conference but demonstrated HOW they accomplished what they had done. They paused to answer questions while they were presenting and were willing to spend one-on-one time with you after a session to discuss a technique they had demonstrated or to answer questions about a particular problem you were having with Captivate.

Between my colleague and myself we attended 6 of the breakout sessions. We went to two together and the two each separately and we found each session to be extremely useful. We both took multiple pages of notes and when I reviewed my notes later I found several comments that read something like “we could use multi-state objects to do this” or “we could use a bit of Javascript to do this”. I left each session filled with excitement and a desire to pull my laptop out in the grand ballroom and begin working while I was at the conference.

My take away from the conference is that you get an awful lot of bang for your buck and I hope to return next year.

From Newbie to Explorer and beyond…

I have been a fan of Adobe and Captivate for many years maintaining active subscriptions for years.  However, the amount of time I had with my previous employer to acquire new skills was minimal because we are always in survival mode due to growth and limited resources.  I have moved to a new position with a new organization that has enabled me to finally dive more in-depth into the tools and the community.  I have rapidly consumed information through the eLearning Community and jumped from Newbie to Explorer literally overnight.  Having the Levels and associated incentives to help motivate me has been fun!  As I read blogs, watch videos, and practice with various projects, I realize more and more how vast this community is, how supportive the experts are, and how powerful the tools really are in terms of producing high quality content quickly.  I have managed to complete my first interactive drag and drop learning activity and get it successfully imported into our course LMS all using the resources available throughout the community.  I am grateful for people like Pooja Jaisingh , Paul Wilson, and so many others for freely sharing their knowledge and am excited about being able to attend DevLearn next week to immerse myself in all things eLearning for an entire week. Now it’s on to Guide level I go!

The struggle is real.

Hello all,

I’m an avid Storyline user and boy oh boy was I rudely awoken when using Adobe Captivate. Where’s my layers? Where’s my detailed triggers?? Ugh. Headache.

Let me start from the beginning. I first used Captivate 7 with my previous company. They were extremely wet behind the ears when it came to eLearning development (as was I to be honest) so we used what we most widely saw in eLearning searches for an authoring tool. Along with the help of, I began getting used to the ways of Captivate. Learning all that I could in as little time as possible. Much to my eager minds surprise, my company made a shift. Turns out that another company we absorbed was already using Articulate Storyline for their authoring tool.

So, there I go again learning another authoring tool software by using the wonderful site of and some gracious YouTuber’s. This time the learning seemed to come much easier. Why you ask? Because Captivate already established a base for me to start from. Storyline and Captivate may seem similar but there are significant differences that truly show how unique each software is. I used Storyline for two years, creating 100’s of various eLearning courses – a few of which included gamification. I was pretty proud of myself for being able to learn this software so quickly and then to be able to create such intricate courses/games.

Fast forward to today, I am with a new company doing what I did for the other company, creating eLearning content. However, this company does not use Storyline; they use Captivate. So where I began I begin again. Using and VERY gracious YouTuber’s to learn Adobe Captivate as quickly as possible. It’s been a slow process because things I would like to do are not done the same way or are not possible within Captivate as it is in Storyline.

I am positive and believe I will too become a lover of the Captivate software but as of right now, well, let’s just say it’s an ongoing journey.


Thanks for reading!

Adobe Captivate 2017: Powerful!

I am very excited to be using Adobe Captivate 2017.  What an outstanding tool!  I tired the 30 day trial a few months ago and while I was impressed, I thought that I needed more time to really consider what I could do in the future with such a powerful tool.  After purchasing Adobe Captivate 2017, reviewing the short tutorials and taking an Adobe Captivate 2017 course on, I feel like Adobe Captivate 2017 will provide me with all I need to do a great job on my next eLearning project without any problems.  The design, power, and ease of use of Adobe Captivate 2017 has prompted me to consider several new eLearning projects to complete in the near future.  Finally, a great plus when using Adobe Captivate 2017 is that you know that help along with access to users with cutting-edge ideas are a click away in the Adobe Captivate community.

From a nearly new user to a very new user

Captivate is the distant cousin of the Adobe family. It doesn’t care about the hours you may have put in with the other products, which all play well together and look as though they came from the same parents. Upon first opening it, nothing will look reassuring or familiar, presumably the coders and designers also sit away from everyone else in the Adobe cafeteria. This initial disorientation threw me when I started with the software, just a few weeks ago.

If you are using the 30 day trial of Captivate, prepare to reach the end still not completely sure how to do everything. That isn’t the fault of the software or user, rather a different mindset needed when using the program. Other software often leaves it fingerprints all over whatever is created using it: images that have obviously been created in Photoshop, perfect line art that could only have come from Illustrator. Captivate isn’t nearly so boastful. I’ve no idea whether or not I’ve ever interacted with something created on the platform in the past. For it to achieve its goal of creating effective learning materials, it needs to stay in the background. I can use any image software and expect to roughly express on screen what is in my head. I know that any video or audio editing program will let me arrange the sound and motion as I like, I already know the outcome before starting. With Captivate, not only did I not have a clear idea of what I wanted to create, I also didn’t know what I could create and how to go about it. Everything was a known-unknown.

Captivate for me has been full of ‘I wonder if I can do this…’ moments. Nearly always, I can do whatever it is I’m thinking, but it has taken time and effort on my part. The eLearning industry seems to be comprised of a dedicated group of people trying to undo years of damage caused by what were considered in the past to be best practices but are now viewed only as effective ways to destroy student’s souls. Despite the advances made in the theory of effective learning, as creators we’re still presented by a huge, daunting blank page and it is this sense of initial directionless wandering that I think creates this gap for new users between what is in their head and the mess they make on the screen.

So as a fairly new user to the very new, you’re going to have to work for your results, at least initially. Work smart however and it pays off. The Captivate community seems cosy (small) and welcoming. Pretty much anything you may want to do in the first few days and weeks has been done, recorded, explained and shared.


Fast Start with the New Adobe Captivate

I’m so excited about the new Adobe Captivate because it helps me create learning experiences to support screen based learning. I’m working with software developers that roll out updates a couple times a month. The training approach that I’m using includes Captivate as a tool for creating video and interactive learning demonstrations to guide the learner through the new functions.

I’ve also been using Adobe Captivate to support a focus on real time learning where I can work with a subject matter expert and capture the demonstrations in real time. I’m looking forward to sharing out future work here in the Adobe eLearning Community.

Stay tuned…


Adobe Captivate Draft: Great Concept, Good Tool, But Not Enough To Make Me Buy An iPad

I am a PC and Android user 100%, so I had to borrow my daughters iPad to test out Adobe Captivate Draft.  As a designer, I am a true believer in storyboarding. I believe that creating a master document that shows your plan of action is good for both the builder and the client, so I wanted to see if Adobe Captivate Draft had enough for me to invest in an iPad of my own.

I found the ability to create storyboards, share those storyboards with others (other iPad users), let others review and provide suggestions, and then incorporate those suggestions in one package is a great idea. Then to be able to import your Captivate Draft product directly into Captivate and have your course built is awesome, but not enough to make me want to change how I currently design. With Captivate Draft, Captivate, and Captivate Prime a user could from design to implementation of an e-learning project all within the Adobe eLearning ecosystem.

I think that Captivate Draft is a nice tool for people who already own an iPad, and I can see how a course builder could use this tool to help them develop courses, but I do not think that it has enough to make seasoned designers want to change their ways, at least it wasn’t for me. I am aware of my device bias and I can honestly say that if the tool was available on Android I would have a copy on my Galaxy tablet, but I do not think I would change the way I currently storyboard projects to make this tool a central part of my design process.

Captivate 2017: It’s where the Grown-Ups Work

I was in the process of responding to a current post when I quickly realized I was typing a testimonial – so I thought I’d put it in this forum instead.

I can’t speak to Lectora or the latest versions of Storyline, but I’ve used both Captivate (starting with version 3 all the way through the 2017). I’m also a regular user of Storyline 2 as well as Camtasia Studio.  Let me tell you, there are days when I’m in all 3 and sometimes I find myself having to stop and remind myself what program I’m using, then think about where something is.  For ease of use, SL for sure.  It’s PowerPoint-esque interface makes it easy for new e-learning developers to understand, and to create some high quality e-learning.  But for power, I’m going with Captivate hands down.  Yes there is a learning curve, but the things this tool can generate make it so worth learning it.  Plus there are so many good resources out there from folks like Allen Partridge with Adobe, Joe Ganci, Paul Wilson, and Poojah Jaisingh – that make that learning curve a breeze!

A few months ago at my local ATD chapter meeting, I got into a robust discussion with a fellow e-learning developer who swore by Storyline and Storyline alone.  My response was that I would encourage developers to learn more than one tool.  Quite honestly, there are some things SL can do that I wish Captivate would do (layers, for instance, and the ability to play more than one audio file on the timeline – hey Adobe, are you listening?). But when I recently had to create a project that included having the learner press a key on the keyboard as part of a simulation, I knew that Captivate was THE tool to use.  As I told my colleague at that chapter meeting, when the only tool you have is a hammer, all of your problems look like nails.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not dismissing the competition. But Captivate is where the grown-ups come to play.  I have a dear friend and Captivate guru who says that 80% of e-learning products are not of high quality. I do believe that the 20% that are high quality – you’ll find that many of them were created with Captivate.



The 7th Habit of Highly Effective eLearning Designers & Developers

Photo of business people hands applauding at conference

In Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the seventh habit is to sharpen the saw. Sharpen the saw means spending time working on you. i.e. the carpenter needs to spend some time making sure his or her equipment is functioning properly. I submit to you that one of the best ways eLearning designers and developers can sharpen their saws is to attend the Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas on October 24th, 2017. Of course, this is easy when you work for a big company that budgets for conferences and other learning activities, however more difficult if you are a freelance designer, developer, but consider the following. We have a bunch of tools as eLearning designers and developers at our disposal such as a computer, microphones, video cameras, eLearning authoring tools and so on. Hardware and software come and go, but what’s the one tool that you will use for your entire career? Guess what it’s you! Of all the tools at your disposal the most important is you. Without you, you could not be the incredible instructional designer or developer that you are. Stephen breaks down this habit into four areas.


Physical is all the things that sustain you like eating well, getting some exercise, resting and relaxing. I don’t know about you, but by October 24th, where I’m from in Canada gets pretty cold. We tend to stay indoors more and get less exercise and perhaps don’t eat as well. the great part about Las Vegas is that in October the weather is still really nice. Get in a swim before the conference or go for a nice long walk on the strip and see the sights.


Social/Emotional is making connections with other like minded individuals like yourself. Since I’ve been attending the Adobe conferences, I’ve made fantastic friends who also happen to know a whole bunch about my industry in eLearning. I can message them with questions and in return, I help them as well. For example two of my colleagues are working on an Adobe Captivate book together. They have asked me to be a content reviewer. This increases my exposure but also helps some friends out in the process. These connections are not just business contacts but rather meaningful connections that I wouldn’t have otherwise had and I expect that they will be lifelong connections.


The big part of spending the day with industry experts is learning new skills. I have been designing eLearning for over ten years, but have only been really active in the Adobe eLearning community for the last two years or so. Prior to that I basically just did the same things over and over again. By learning, reading, writing and teaching, I have received back ten fold what I have put into it. I’m a far better eLearning designer and developer than I was just two years ago. I have been in attendance at Adobe Learning Summit and the eLearning Conference in Washington as a presenter. Admittedly I’, exhausted when I get off stage, but you won’t see me back in my room sleeping. Instead, I will be in the other sessions learning more from my esteemed colleagues.


Spiritual can mean different things for different people. Taking time to enjoy what life has to offer is really great at re-energizing. Certainly, Las Vegas isn’t spending time in nature, however, some of its nearby landmarks that are worth seeing while you are there. Also giving yourself time to meditate and reflect on your past year will help you in planning for your future. I know that conferences are not supposed to be vacations, but you don’t have to be participating in conference activities 24/7. take some time to go out and enjoy all that Vegas has to offer.

Of course sharpening your saw doesn’t have to be super expensive either. Take advantage of the early registration pricing right now. register and pay before July 21st and you can get the full day of activities at the Adobe Learning Summit for as low as $99. Can’t make that deadline? No worries, the Adobe Learning Summit is only $249.00 USD ($199.00 with DevLearn registration).–expo–adobe-learning-summit/