Adobe Captivate Specialist Q&A: My Experience

Last month, I attended the Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas and was part of the second cohort to gain the Adobe Captivate Specialist Certification. Since returning, several people have asked about the process of gaining the certification, so I’ve decided to share some of the Q&A. If you’re thinking of taking the certification, my hope is that there might be something useful in here for you too.

Q: How did you find out about it?

It was advertised on the Adobe Captivate product site.
There’s a similar advertisement posted today. You can find the Adobe Captivate Specialist certification by following the instructions below.

To locate the Adobe Captivate Specialist information:

  1. Locate the call-to-action is for the Adobe e-Learning Conference –it’s a thin banner just below the main image.
  2. Click the Register Now link to open the conference registration page.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page.

Q: Who else was there?

There were around 400 people taking the certification exam, but many more attended the free Learning Summit on day 2. Plus, there were a large number of Adobe employees.

I was impressed to see the Captivate software developers assisting instructors in the Refresher classes. My particular cohort was taught by Dr. Pooja Jaisingh! It was really great to meet her in person after taking the online course (which she created and teaches).

As for the attendees, I found myself taking the exam alongside many long-time users like myself (the early adopters), and a few intermediate users. I never personally met any beginners.

Q: What was the process like?

I think this is best described in terms of a timeline…

Day 0: Register for the conference. Receive an automated verification with a link to conference-rate hotel reservations.

Two weeks before the conference: Receive an invitation to take the online pre-certification refresher course in Captivate Prime. The course covers all major functionality within Adobe Captivate –including new features released in Captivate 2019. Content is divided over 20 chapters, each consisting of short modules.

Personal note: The course was assigned an estimated length of 7.5 hours; I believe this is the running time of all the videos combined. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important, so I completed all the exercises. I worked through most of them pretty fast, but it still took over 20 hours to complete the course.  I would highly recommend taking the time to do this as I personally found the experience to be very worthwhile. I refreshed a lot of old knowledge, learned some new things, and eventually sat the exam feeling very well-prepared.

Of course, at the time, I was also under the impression that completion of the course was mandatory since there were credits assigned to each module –I was uncertain whether they counted towards the certification and I wanted to err on the side of caution.

At the conference however, I learned that many participants had not completed the pre-certification course –so it wasn’t mandatory! I’m not sure how those people fared on the exam though. I would say, “better to be safe than sorry.”

One to Two Weeks before the conference: Receive regular automated email reminders from the Captivate Prime LMS urging completion of the course prior to attending the conference.

Adobe Learning Summit Day One: Attend an all-day refresher class; sit the Captivate Certification exam at the end of the day. The exam is open-book, a passing score is 70% or more. There are no retakes permitted on the day.

Adobe Learning Summit Day Two: Attend the conference and workshops; receive your framed Captivate Specialist certificate (assuming you passed the exam), and have your photo taken by a professional photographer (free of charge, courtesy of Adobe). The photographer emails a soft copy of your photo to you almost immediately.

Approximately 10 days after the Summit: Adobe sends a soft copy of your certificate via email, as well as a link to your credential validation ephemera on (more details in my response to the next question).

Q: What did you get?

  • Framed and soft copies of the certificate;
  • A photo taken by a professional photographer (see the thumbnail image for this post);
  • A soft copy of a Captivate Specialist tag for my website, business cards, and such;
  • A link to that can be posted on websites or shared via Social Media. Recipients can just click to verify the credentials.  In case you’d like to try this out, the image below is a link to my credential –please feel free to click it to see what happens!

How often is it offered?

Adobe currently offers the certification twice a year –in the Spring in Washington, D.C. and in the Fall in Las Vegas, Nevada. This article states that it was first offered in Spring 2018.

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Adobe Learning Summit – Free Conference Next Week

Hope to see you at Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas on October 4th! The event is free and includes sessions from a number of great e-learning and learning technology folks. You can see the full program here and register for free if interested.

I’m teaching a session from 2:30-3:30PM Pacific on October 4th. I’ll be around Vegas all week if anyone feels like having a one on one geek chat. 			</div><!-- .entry-content -->
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The Complete Learning Technologist Certificate Program – Coming February 2019

I’ve wanted to put together a learning technologist certification for a long, long time. Well, guess who had the same idea – Training Magazine! And they’re making it happen at Training 2019! Learning geeks will unite in Orlando for our three-day learning technology program February 22-24, 2019. You can register here.

  • Day 1: Creation and Authoring Learning Tools, presented by Jeff Batt
  • Day 2: Multimedia Planning, Tools and Gadgets, presented by Nick Floro
  • Day 3: Delivery and Emerging Technologies, presented by yours truly

I’m going to cover a variety of technologies on day three, in addition to discussing how to select and implement educational technology. And I’ll give you some free goodies to take home with you. Take a look at the program descriptions below and consider joining us at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort!

The Complete Learning Technologist Certificate Program

Whether you are a designer, developer, manager, facilitator, administrator, or executive, you need to understand what learning technologies are capable of today—and what their promise is for tomorrow. Through demos, hands-on experience, checklists, and rubrics, this program goes beyond identifying the latest shiny training tech objects — and helps you become a well-rounded learning technologist who makes the optimal selection, design, and implementation decisions for your organization.

Day 1 Creation and Authoring Learning Tools; Jeff Batt, Head Trainer, Learning Dojo

Authoring tools change quickly and often, so how do you keep up? We’ll begin by examining the overall principles of development (i.e., elements, properties, behavior). Then, using those principles, we’ll begin our exploration of specific authoring tools. You’ll learn:

  • About the basics of course authoring, regardless of what authoring tool you may be using.
  • How development principles apply to current off-the-shelf tools like Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and more.
  • How to make the appropriate selection for authoring tools.
  • How to learn any new authoring tool.

Day 2: Multimedia Planning, Tools and Gadgets; Nick Floro, Learning Architect, Sealworks Interactive Studios

Looking to bring your skills to the next level? On day two, you will learn how to get started building and designing interactive learning. Learn the finer points, practical skills that you can apply, and best practices for delivering engaging learning. You’ll learn about:

  • Architecting your next project with collaborative tools.
  • Sketching a storyboard from paper to PowerPoint.
  • Improving brainstorming and feedback loops.
  • Creating a prototype with Marvel app.
  • Using Explain Everything App to create animated explainers and promos and to provide feedback.
  • Thinking Outside the Box: 5 activities and concepts to add to your next project.
  • Building an interactive chatbot for learning.
  • Strategies for designing for learning and your audience.

Day 3: Delivery and Emerging Technologies; Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist, Adobe

You’ve spent two days learning how to create engaging training resources. Day three focuses on how to deliver your content using the latest in learning technology and features content from Katrina’s books LMS Success and The LMS Selection Checklist. You will:

  • Define common types of learning technology platforms.
  • Demonstrate how technology can help you engage learners through the use of gamification, mobile learning, social learning, and blended learning elements.
  • Explain how to use reporting and analytics to understand the learner experience.
  • Describe the process to select a new technology platform, including the features and factors you should review with potential vendors.
  • Discuss the process of successfully implementing and maintaining a learning technology platform.
  • Cover best practices that include how to internally market your platform, curate your course catalog and content, and build an effective administrator team.

BONUS! You will walk away with supplemental materials and a free trial of Adobe Captivate Prime.

BYOD:  Please bring a WiFi-enabled laptop with Storyline and Captivate installed (trial versions okay).

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Review Adobe Captivate Prime LMS

Tell us what you love about Adobe Captivate Prime LMS and 50 lucky reviewers could win free Bluetooth earphones*.

Post your review here and share your Adobe Captivate Prime experience now!

You can get your free Adobe Captivate Prime LMS trial version here. To know more about Captivate Prime LMS, watch this video.

Last date to submit a review – July 8th, 2018.




*Free shipping only available in North America.

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Excited about Learning DevCamp and eLBx in Salt Lake City, Utah

Anyone else attending the Learning DevCamp and eLBX conference in Salt Lake City, Utah?

There are a lot of big name speakers and I use a lot of the eLearning Brothers templates and assets so I am super excited. The content is really centered on development and eLearning tools and I always learn lot of practical tips and suggestions.

There is more info on it at:

Let me know your thoughts or if there are other conferences going on that really help with Captivate Users?

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Adobe Conference (East) 2018

This was my 3rd year attending the Adobe eLearning Conference in Washington DC sponsored by Carahsoft and as always, Adobe didn’t fail to deliver.  In addition to participating in the Specialist Certification session prior to the conference, I attended sessions by industry leaders like Phil Cowcill, Mark Lassoff, Damian Bruyndonckx, and James Kingsley.

The conference has grown significantly since the first year, but they still manage to provide great session choices, surprisingly good breakfast and lunch, and fun sneak peeks into what they are working on for future products and releases.

It was the first conference I’ve been to since diving more deeply into Captivate and Adobe products that I didn’t feel like a complete novice, and while I missed going to the “getting started” type sessions by Dr. Poojah Jaisingh, Ray Jimenez, and Paul Wilson, who I have followed and learned so much from over the past few years, I did enjoy getting to visit with them during breaks, and was able to still keep learning from a new group of experts.

There are always  new and exciting things to learn and take away from these conferences, and I eagerly look forward to the next one knowing that even though the names are familiar, the topics and content will be fresh and cutting edge.

Thanks again to Adobe for a great conference and I can’t wait for the next one!

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If I Could Only Attend One Live Event Per Year…

When I participate in events like the 2018 Adobe eLearning Conference, we call them speaking engagements, and that’s certainly part of it. I like to think about this as really an instructor-led classroom session. My YouTube tutorials are often five to ten minutes of instruction, but what I do at the Adobe Live Events is a full hour of demonstration (I don’t use PowerPoint). What you will see from me is one hour of me demonstrating how to do a bunch of things in Adobe Captivate.⠀

This year my topic is Getting Started with Adobe Captivate (2017 Release). If you are new to eLearning, new to Captivate, or just new to this release, I will be showing you how you can quickly develop eLearning that works across a variety of different device types, and how easy it is to setup your eLearning to have a unique look and feel. While your competition will be messing around with their first eLearning modules, attending my session will help you rapidly pump out content for your organization. Or, if you are a learning and development manager, I will show you how your design and development team can rapidly get your organization trained up on what they need to know and do.⠀

I refer to the Adobe eLearning Conference in Washington D.C. as the best deal in eLearning conferences and I mean it. Other conferences will cost you or your organization hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to just register, Adobe offers this event completely for free. All you need to do is convince your manager or director to foot the bill for your transportation and lodging. Still not convinced? Well, breakfast and lunch are included as well!

Make sure you register for the best deal in eLearning conferences before it’s too late:

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/