Recommended Reading Summary: A Chapter of “Emerging Technologies for the Classroom”

In October, I posted some recommended reading that complemented one of my classes on gamification.  I’ve since started writing chapter summaries (here is the last article) so people can “preview” some of the great books out there and hopefully end up reading them!

Below is this month’s chapter summary.  Google Scholar features most of the chapter for free.  For the full text, here’s a Springer Link, which is free with subscription, or you can purchase the chapter or book.

Chapter 9: “Like, Comment, Share: Collaboration and Civic Engagement Within Social Network Sites,” by Greenhow and Lee, in Emerging Technologies for the Classroom: A Learning Sciences Perspective.

Social media and social networking sites allow individuals and groups to collaborate and learn together.  Social media has a different impact on the learning experience, compared to technology that is often utilized in the learning environment.  Students often use technology in the classroom for independent study or for research purposes.  Social media on the other hand supports research while also encouraging a learning process that is rich with peer to peer interaction.  Teaching and learning practices benefit from the collective knowledge that social technology provides.

Social media practices can facilitate new forms of collaborative knowledge construction.  It encourages civic engagement in broader communities of practice.  And social media can encourage an environment of trust, where individuals share information about themselves and their interests.  Establishing a level of trust within a social group can make the learning process more effective.  And cultivating a professional network can lead to opportunities above and beyond the learning experience.

A social networking site (SNS) is a web-enabled service through which individuals can maintain existing ties and develop new social ties with people outside their network.  Other examples of social media include media-sharing services like YouTube and Flickr, collaborative knowledge development through wikis, and creative works like blogs and microblogging.

There are opportunities to use social networking in both formal and informal learning settings – meaning social networking can be used regardless of whether learning objectives are determined for an experience.  Cultural and technological trends have sharply increased the amount of interest in social media, and access to technology is increasing as well.  Social network sites can bridge the gap between the formal learning environment of the classroom, and informal environments like afterschool programs or communities of practice.  They can also help instructors better understand the interests and backgrounds of their students, making it easier for them to cater to the students as individuals.

Social media can facilitate learning experiences through debate, allowing students to compare their opinions against those of a broader community.  It can also allow students more direct access to communities outside of their familiarity, such as people in other countries or industries.  This access can provide students with context and a better understanding of how the information they are learning applies to the world as a whole.

Students can use social media sites they are familiar with outside of school – Twitter and Facebook for example – to discuss what they are learning and gather information.  Using familiar social media tools may allow students a greater level of comfort during the learning process.  Instructors can also use specialized applications, such as learning management systems, to provide a more structured environment.  Instructors can use students’ activity feeds to monitor levels of engagement and adjust the curriculum accordingly.

The use of social media and social networking sites to facilitate learning aligns with the constructivism approach to learning design.  Students, teachers, and other parties take a flexible role within the social media space, often acting as mentors and mentees within the same setting.  All participants are encouraged to express interests and creativity, and collaborate to reach a collective goal.

Social media supports the exploration of realistic, complex problems because learning is taking place in the real world.  Learners can provide feedback through multiple channels and post questions or comments whenever they feel the need.  Research can be self driven and may incorporate multiple social media platforms if the learning environment allows it.

Using social media to facilitate a learning process comes with obstacles that educators should address in order to ensure the learning experience is successful.  It’s important that social media be applied with intention and vision, if it is meant to facilitate specific learning objectives.  Administrative vision and planning are critical.

Also critical is addressing online privacy and security concerns that relate to student usage.  Students may need to be taught how to responsibly and ethically use social media platforms.  The school culture must be accepting of collaboration and group activities in order for social media usage to be effective.  The evaluative environment in particular should emphasize digital literacies and competencies that align with the use of social media.

Instructors may choose to overcome challenges by partnering with library media specialists who have a greater familiarity with technology integration and information technologies.  It may also be beneficial to involve youth workers and other adults who can assist in extending instruction into the community.  Instructors may need to persuade school administrators to change policies involving social media – or instructors may choose to have students only use technologies outside of school hours.

Instructors may find it useful to prove the effectiveness of social media by collecting data related to learner engagement and the effect on desired outcomes.  Results can be shared with administrators and other parties in order to generate discussion about how a school’s policies and educational approaches should evolve to accommodate changes in technology.

If you need a learning technology platform that encourages social learning, check out Adobe Captivate Prime, which you can try for free.

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Answers to Challenge ‘Sequence in advanced action’

One week ago I posted this challenge

  1. Which action will be functional: A or B?
  2. Why will the non-functional action fail?
  3. Could you ‘fix’ the non-functional action?
  4. Why is using a shared action not considered to be an alternative.
  5. … other ideas?

As promised, here are the answers to those questions (didn’t get any answer to 3 nor 5)

1. Correct action = B

Only action B will be working correctly. Action A will always show the same image, in this case image 4.

2. Why is A failing?

The reason was already ‘hidden’ in the title slide. It is linked to the way advanced (and shared) actions are read and executed in Captivate. All commands will be done, starting with the first decision from top to bottom, then with the second decision (top to bottom) etc until the last command in the last decision is finished. This is different from some programming languages, where a script can be finished before reaching the end, by breaking out of it. Captivate doesn’t support breakout. Hence the importance of screening the sequence of commands in a decision, and the sequence of the decisions themselves. Be also very careful with conditional decisions when using both the THEN and ELSE part! In most cases understanding the logic is easier when you do not use the ELSE part.

Translation of the commands in action A. Remember: the user variable v_click is tracking the number of clicks, there are 4 images to show in sequence and a loop has to be created.

  • First condition: What has to happen when v_click =0? First image has to be shown, and since it is a loop, it could be that the last image 4 has to be hidden. Looks logical. However, the problem is in the change of the variable to 1 with the Assign command!
  • Second decision: What has to happen when v_click =1? But it is 1 after the first condition (Assign), so this is true, and image1 will be replaced by the image2. Again, the variable will be changed, now to 2 (Assign)
  • Third decision: What has to happen when v_click =2? It is 2 after the second condition, image3 replaces image2 and the variable value is changed to 3.
  • Fourth decision: What has to happen when v_click =3? It is 3, result is that image3 is replaced by image 4, and the action ends in this situation. Variable is set back to 0. The next click will repeat all the conditions again and result is the same: image4 remains.

3. Fix the wrong action?

Strange that no one answered this challenge. In 2 you did see the cause of mal functioning: the change of variable within a conditional decision. Let us start by taking it out in a separate decision which is not conditional. You cannot use Assign in that case, because that means filling the variable with a fixed value. So I will replace Assign by Increment.

If I want to keep the decision commands as they are in the original action, with one Hide and one Show command, the sequence of the new (5th) decision is important: it has to be at the end, after the 4 original decisions. Result of the fixed action:

4. Shared action not an alternative

One user mentioned that a shared action was not appropriate because it is used only once. Shared actions are not only useful within one project, but have a lot of other advantages as I have mentioned in previous articles: their appearance in the Library, which can be used as external library to re-use the action in any other project is the main reason.

To be a shared action, that is useful for multiple situations, the number of photos should be variable, not fixed to 4. That means an extra variable (v_max). Both actions at this moment have 5 decisions, which is the number of photos + one for the increment (or eventually decrement). It is not possible to make the number of decisions variable however, which means a possible shared action would not be very flexible. It could be useful as template for a future advanced action, since duplicating a decision is very simple.  To be used as a shared action that can be used out of the box, it is not suited.

5. ..?

No answers. What about an automatic looping of the photos, using a While loop? Wondering if someone would take that challenge?

Or reversing the logic: use Decrement instead of Increment?

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How IOT Is Taking Web Development To A Different Level?

IOT (internet of things) is a real game changer. IOT has changed the lives of people with its continuous evolution of technology. The web is used by companies to extend their geographical limits. To let the clients utilize e-services and products of the company, every organization there is working hard to create a mark in the cyberspace.

Websites are designed in such a way that customers can buy products as per their ease.

IOT is playing a major role in taking E-commerce to a successive level. Today in this handy guide, we are going to discuss how IOT is changing web development in detail.

Features of IOT to change the Web Development Techniques

We are going to share some features of IOT which is change the Web development Techniques and reach next level of web development. IOT is the Futures of Web development and design.

1). the Place for Web Development in IOT

Let’s now carefully understand how the web development and IOT are related. The connected device’s network relies on the web server, as we all know. The communication between devices is done by advanced messaging protocols and the data obtained from sensors is stored in the cloud.

IOT can even display website content. It can display such as UIs on TVs, laptops, wearable’s, smart appliances, and industrial monitors. Both web development, as well as design, is a crucial part of IOT projects and the recent example is Amazon’s Echo with its virtual assistant Alexa.

2). IOT Development Differs from Ordinary Web Development:

IOT is very vast and complex than a regular web application. It not only deals with a vast amount of data but also intense communications, dynamic user interfaces, and security and reliability issues.

3). Collecting High Volumes of Data

Let’s have a look at the peculiarities of IOT system. IOT works with a huge amount of data. They transmit data to and from the cloud after collecting the real-time data from sensors, filter them and thus process them.

It causes a delay in the network. But losing any bit of data is highly unacceptable. This is the reason why IOT web development in comparison to ordinary web development focuses more on the system’s scalability and reliability than ordinary web development.

Why scalability and reliability?

Scalability ensures the collection and distribution of data doesn’t depend on the data volume and reliability ensures data collection and distribution happen without interruption.

To justify scalable applications, IOT developers use languages and solutions such as Java, C, and JavaScript. Appropriate data transfer protocols are there to transmit loads of data without any hamper.

The two common protocols are as follows:

  • XMPP: for real-time communication
  • AMQP: for message-oriented data receiving/sending

Do you know?

The importance of IOT solutions is stated reliable and scalable by 51 percent of software developers according to the RTInsights’ survey.

This feature is what makes it different from conventional application development. IOT is designed with minimization of power use in mind. Why so? Because communications in IOT networks usually consume a lot of energy.

4). Dynamic User Interfaces

IOT display lots of analytics and infographics because it deals with a huge amount of data. Along with it, it manages the entire network as well. Dynamic UIs is helpful in order of multi-tasking. How they did so?

IOT allows generating portlets or pages dynamically! It makes the work done easily even when there is a lot of data left to be managed.

5). Advanced Security:

Security is something which can’t be overlooked. It is an important aspect in web development but is far complex and crucial in IOT. To keep the data safe and secure, it is important that smart devices should be secured from outside intervention.

Security is the major challenge of IOT growth according to McKinsey.  Advanced user authentication and user access management are the two methods IOT developers take into use to ensure access security.

6). Current Trends in IOT Web Development:

Java, C, and JavaScript are the top 3 languages for building IOT solutions according to the IOT developer 2018 survey. JavaScript hold a special place in IOT development for a long time as 95% of all websites are built on JavaScript (Clearly it dominates web)., Zetta.js, Cylon.js, and Nodered are other frameworks used by IOT developers from a long time apart from Node.js.

7). JavaScript for Real-Time IOT Applications:

JavaScript is used basically for frontend development. The two libraries used to develop real-time applications are JQuery and Socket.IO.

It is also used with a polling technique, like AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) to constantly update information on the web page. In addition to it, it is used as a server-side programming language with varieties of JQuery plug-in modules that are on the market to develop responsive web pages.

It will not be false to say that IOT is a real game-changer. The rapidly growing technology affects the consumers as well as the IOT solution providers equally. Many experienced web developers have observed that the Complex IOT networks set many different types of challenges for them both in back and front ends. In the software development and web development industry, IOT has brought many major changes to a great extent. I hope you now understand how IOT Systems take Web Development to a whole new height.

Time to sum up:

I hope today’s article helped you learn about the impact of IOT on the web development process. In case if still there is doubt popping up your head, feel free to comment in the comment section below. We are always there to help you out. We will get back to you soon!

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How To Use Microlearning To Train Your Multi-Generational Workforce

L&D teams face the challenge of training a multi-generational workforce with 4-5 distinct profiles. In this article, I outline how the microlearning-based approach can provide a unique mode to address the common aspects as well as personalized learning.

Ways To Use Microlearning To Train Your Multi-Generational Workforce

In 2019, more than ever before, L&D teams are facing the challenge to train employees across divergent profiles, given the multi-generational workforce which we see in most organizations. A typical team today may comprise of employees across 4 generations:

  1. Baby Boomers
  2. Gen X
  3. Gen Y
  4. Gen Z

It is quite likely that certain industries and organizations may even have a fifth one; the Traditionalists.

The multi-generational workforce presents a challenge of creating trainings for each of these profiles. Not only should training excite each one of them, but it should also provide the optimal mode of learning to each profile. Adding to the challenge, it is a fact that an approach that would excite one profile may be frivolous for another, and so on.

How Can You Address This Challenge?

Despite notable differences, there are several commonalities across generations. For instance,

  • They all want to learn so that they can perform better.
  • They want feedback that can help them improve further.
  • They want to be part of a continuous learning process.

So, the answer lies in using a flexible approach that would excite and engage each profile of your multi-generational workforce. One of the possible options uses microlearning-based training to train your multi-generational workforce and offset this challenge.

In this article, I show you what microlearning strategies can help you train your multi-generational workforce.

What Are The Common Factors That Excite All Profiles And Can Be Used To Design Training For Your Multi-Generational Workforce?

As I have highlighted earlier, despite differences in each profile of the multi-generational workforce, there are several common aspects as well. L&D teams need to begin the exercise by taking note of what works with most of the employees.

With our experience at EI Design, we see the following wishlist across customers, geographies, and industry verticals. Most learners (across the multi-generational workforce) want the following aspects in their training:

  1. The training should be personalized.
  2. The learners should have the flexibility to pick up training “anytime and anywhere”.
  3. The training must be interesting and should be offered in new formats (not the obvious formats).
  4. The training should mesh with their lifestyle and should allow them the flexibility to learn effortlessly during their day, for example, while commuting, during waiting periods, or over the weekends. They do not want to block large chunks of time during work to accomplish this.
  5. The training should feature short, focused learning assets that can be consumed “on the go”.
  6. The training should be easy to access, and it should be available within the workflow, exactly at the moment of their need,, rather than having to access it over the LMS all the time.
  7. They should have the flexibility to consume on the device of their choice, and they should be able to move seamlessly across devices.
  8. The training should have the required mix of learning and reinforcements.
  9. The training should also have triggers to nudge the learners to review and should have room to practice.
  10. Based on each learner’s performance, there should be recommendations for further learning or remediation aids.
  11. The learning journey should provide a sense of achievement and recognition.
  12. The learning environment should provide learners with avenues to contribute and be recognized for this.

What Strategies Would Work To Design Training For Your Multi-Generational Workforce?

From the common factors, we can derive the training and learning strategies that would work across your multi-generational workforce, and the following aspects clearly stand out:

  • Interesting and new formats
  • Learning on the go
  • Personalized learning
  • Flexibility to pull learning nuggets by choice rather than be pushed by mandated trainings
  • Just-in-time learning
  • Room for collaboration and social learning
  • Self-directed learning

Microlearning-based training for your multi-generational workforce, delivered across devices (notably, smartphones and tablets to laptops or desktops) provides an effective approach to meet the diverse expectations of each profile.

Microlearning based training features short focused learning nuggets, often 2-7 minutes long but always associated with a specific learning outcome. Designed to be delivered in high-impact formats, it facilitates a highly sticky learning experience.

You can use microlearning to map to each of the multi-generational workforce profile’s training needs as:

  1. Formal or structured learning
  2. Performance Support Tools (job aids or learning aids)
  3. Support to ILT

To meet the expectations of the diverse profiles, you can offer microlearning for your multi-generational workforce as:

  1. A standalone nugget, meeting a specific learning need as a just-in-time learning aid or job aid. This could support an ILT program or a traditional eLearning program.
  2. A series of nuggets in a learning path (for formal training as well as for reinforcements and practice).

Furthermore, to meet each of the multi-generational workforce profile’s training needs:

  1. With the microlearning approach for your multi-generational workforce, you can design the nuggets in multiple formats. You can opt for apps for learning, Video-based learning, dDecision making scenarios, interactive PDFs, and interactive infographics and so on. This ensures that the expectations of each profile are met.
  2. Additionally, you can offer the same learning in different formats so that employees have the flexibility to use a format that works best for them. For example, a video-based nugget can also be made available as a downloadable PDF.

You can use the following 10 creative strategies to offer microlearning-based training that would appeal to your multi-generational workforce:

  1. Personalized learning paths (based on proficiency or interest)
  2. Gamified learning paths
  3. Gamified quizzes
  4. Gamified challenges for proficiency validation and practice
  5. Video-based learning
  6. Interactive video-based learning
  7. Scenario-based learning
  8. Story-based learning
  9. New immersive approaches: AR, VR, MR, and wearable tech
  10. Leverage on AI to recommend further learning

It is given that each profile will embrace these learning strategies differently. Yet, microlearning-based training for your multi-generational workforce does provide an effective approach to address the common factors and the unique aspects that a given profile may require.

I hope this article does give you some pointers that you can use to offer a microlearning-based approach to train your multi-generational workforce.

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Captivate’s Quizzes (1): Terminology


Since 2008 I have been blogging regularly about Captivate. The most visited post is a rather old one date October 2011. It is labeled  ‘Question Question Slides‘ and believe me, still has daily views.  It is the reason why  I consider Quizzes as one of the three main topics for any Newbie in ‘Three Skills to Acquire‘.  Since 2011 quite a lot has changed in Captivate, although the basic design of quizzes is still the same.  Many peers have asked me in the past to publish a book about Quizzes  (could easily fill a book if it included custom questions). From what I feel in the community, a book is not at all the appropriate medium anymore. However I want to publish a sequence of articles about Quizzes, as I did for the Timeline (another stumbling block), with up-to-date information. It is important to understand the terminology, which is a problem when trying to answer questions everywhere: there is no ‘official’ glossary for Captivate and lot of terms are used in a haphazard way. To avoid any misunderstanding in future posts about Quizzes, I want to start with explanation of the different terms concerning quizzes. Some are ‘official’ also to be found in the Help documentation, some are terms I am using as well.

Drag&Drop will not be included in this sequence of articles, it is not following all the rules of the normal question types

Quiz Menu

Although you can insert Question slides and Knowledge Check Slides from the big button Slides, the place to be is the Quiz menu:

The red box shows the 4 possible choices:

Question slide

Is based on a dedicated Quizzing Master slide, depending on the type: True/False, Multiple Choice, Fill-in-the-Blank, Short Answer and Sequence have the same master slide, Matching, Hotspot and Likert have each an individual master slide. Beware: Likert type cannot be used in a responsive project, whether Fluid Boxes or Breakpoint workflow is used.

An inserted Question slide will have these settings by default (except Likert which is set to Survey):

  • Graded
  • 10p score, no penalty
  • 1 attempt
  • actions Success/Last Attempt are set to Continue
  • pausing point at 1.5 secs
  • 1 Failure message
  • Reporting turned on
  • Included in Quiz Total

Most settings can be changed. Only one type has the possibility for partial scoring: MCQ with multiple correct answers. MCQ with one correct answer has the functionality of Advanced Answers (message/action). If number of attempts is higher than 1, you can have up to 3 Failure messages.

Question slides have a dedicated  category of system variables, read-only. More information in this post

You can use the On Enter event of a question slide to trigger a custom action, but not the On Exit event. Question slides, like interactive objects have a Success and a Last Attempt event which can be used for actions.

Random Question Slide

Is a placeholder slide, which will be replaced by a random question from a question pool. Pool questions are based on the same quizzing master slides as normal question slides. On Enter event can be used on slides in the pool, not on the placeholder slide. The same quizzing system variables are used for random question slides as for the normal question slides.

You find the option for Random slides also in the dialog box ‘Insert Question’ which you open with Quiz, Question slide.

More details about this type in Random Questions, Do’s and Don’ts

Pretest Question Slide

Slides are based on the same master slides as the normal question slides. They have a special bunch of system variables, will not be included in the variables used for question and random slides. The Pretest slides have only one goal: to have navigation after the pretest based on the results. For that reason you set up a Pretest action. These special slides have limitations:

  • They need to appear in sequence at the start of the course.
  • All free navigation will be disabled: both by playbar and by Table of Contents (reason is that learner cannot go back to the Pretest slides).

Knowledge Check Slide

This new type was introduced with Captivate 9.  Likert questions nor random questions can be used. They are not scored, will not be present in the quizzing system variables nor in Review/Retake. They can be recognized by a special icon in the Filmstrip. This is the default setup:

  • Not graded
  • No score, no penalty, partial scoring in MCQ impossible
  • Infinite attempts
  • action Success is set to Continue
  • pausing point at 1.5 secs
  • No Failure message
  • No Reporting

Some featured can be changed: you can limit the attempts and will then get a Last Attempt action. You can turn on Failure message(s).

A complete comparison with normal quiz slides can be found in Tips for Knowledge Slides


  1. It is possible to copy/paste normal question slides in a question pool  to reuse them as random slides.
  2. It is possible to copy/paste a question slide from a pool as a normal question slide in a project.
  3. It is impossible to convert a normal quiz slide to a Knowledge Check slide nor to a Pretest slide.
  4. It is impossible to convert a Knowledge Check slide to a normal quiz slide nor to a Pretest slide.
  5. It is not possible to convert a Pretest slide to a normal question slide, nor to a KC or random slide.

PS: KC slides can also be used as Overlay slides in an Interactive video. You’ll find more details in Tips for Interactive Video.

Question slides can be used in 360 slides and VR projects. Styling of those slides is limited at this moment, cannot be based on a custom theme.

Import GIFT file

Instead of adding the question/answers in the individual slides, Captivate allows two alternatives, one of them being GIFT import. Moodle developed this ‘language’, you can find the full documentation here. Use a text editor which allows to publish to non-formatted txt files. This file can be used to insert all types of questions in Captivate with the exception of Likert, Hotspot and Sequence types. There are also workflows which start from an Excel file.

Lot of features are supported: for MCQ with multiple correct answers you can set up partial scoring, you can add feedback messages etc.

GIFT import is possible for normal question slides, for slides in a question pool. It is NOT possible for Pretest slides, nor for Knowledge Check Slides.

Especially when dealing with big amounts of question slides, and/or many pools I like to keep the questions ready in a GIFT file as backup and for eventual editing

Import CSV file

New import workflow appeared with CP2019: use of an Excel template which will create a CSV file that can be imported. You’ll need two files which are stored in the GalleryQuiz under the installation folder of Captivate. I published a small article about this workflow. Using the macros in CSVQuestionsCreationMacro file is pretty straightforward and documented in this tutorial by Dr. Pooja Jaisingh.  Same question slides are supported as for GIFT import (T/F, MCQ, Matching, FIB and Short Answer). There are some limitations, reason why I still stick to the GIFT alternative:

  • You cannot indicate partial scoring for MCQ with multiple correct answers
  • CSV file not really suited as backup, since you cannot edit a question once it has been added to the CSV sheet
  • Got some errors when trying CSV editing with importing to an Excel file, and exporting to CSV. File was not accepted by Captivate.

Quizzing Master Slides

All types of question slides described above are using the Quizzing Master slides. Each theme in Captivate needs at least 6 master slides, whether it is a blank (non-responsive) project, a Fluid Boxes (responsive) or a Breakpoint Views (responsive) project. Blank master slide is always required (for PPT import an software simulations), 4 question master slides and one score master slide. The Blank theme used to show this minimum set, but for some reason in CP2019 a Title master slide was added (?) which I deleted in this screenshot.

I will focus on editing those quizzing master slides in a later article. In this introduction I just want to point out some very special aspects of those slides.


The timeline of the quizzing master slides, and the result master slide is very simple: you see only the slide timeline. There are no placeholders, no object timelines like you normally find  on content master slides. However when you look at the content of those master slides, you see a lot of objects!

You don’t see any pausing point on the master slides, not for the questions, nor for the score master. However when you insert a question slide (any type) it gets automatically a pausing point at 1.5secs. Same for the Score slide.

When you select an object on the master slide (button, a feedback, Question, Answer area) they still don’t show a timeline. Their properties will appear. I will point to the objects in a question (master) slide or a score (master) slide as:

Embedded Objects

My definition: objects that do not have an individual timeline, not on the master slide nor on the slide itself. Those objects have functionality built in, which control the workflow for the slide. I talk about the Submit process (see future article), the appearance of messages, the inclusion in quizzing system variables etc. Just one tip: be careful when dealing with Embedded objects.

Those objects have absolute priority in the z-order, also known as stacking order. They will always appear on top of extra inserted custom objects.

Puzzling: normally the only interactive object allowed on a master slide is a shape converted to a shape button. However on the quizzing and score master slides the used buttons are all Transparent buttons.

When creating a question slide or a score slide, not all objects will appear. It depends on the setup in Quiz Preferences (see later article), the Quiz Properties of the slide and… on the situation. The Review Navigation buttons (with the double arrows) on quiz slides will only appear during Review. The Retake button on the score slide can only appear if more than one Attempt on Quiz level is allowed.


So much has to be told about Quizzing, always more than I expected. In future posts I will try to write about:

  • Two-step Submit process
  • Tweaking/customizing that process
  • How to handle Embedded Objects
  • Quiz Preferences
  • Editing the Master slides for quizzing
  • (Setting up the Pretest condition)
  • Audio on Quiz slides
  • Custom objects on quiz/score slide
  • Custom score slide
  • Scoring for KC slides
  • ….

I am sure this list is not complete. If you want to add more ideas, feel free to comment.

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Creating Great Custom eLearning Courses Using Varied Interactivities

Various Methods of Engagement

In previous blogs, we have discussed how storytelling, scenarios, gamification, evidence-based methods, Q&A are effective strategies to engage the learners. In all strategies, one thing is for sure, we are looking for higher engagement levels as compared to standard click and learn kind of eLearning courses. The standard eLearning courses are no longer appealing to the learners as they don’t engage them enough. They may still go through the eLearning courses but would do so to complete them as per mandate and not with any seriousness.

So, a good way to keep learners engaged is through interactivities that have the question component and asks learners to perform a series of steps that takes them forward. Let’s look at the various types of interactivities.

5 Interesting Interactivities

1. Myths and Facts

An interesting way to appeal to the learners is by asking them whether a particular statement is a myth or a fact. For any given subject, we have some popular perceptions. So, by asking learners to choose between a myth and fact will help them exercise their grey cells and think for a while. The purpose of this kind of interactivity is to help learners test themselves as to how much they really know about the subject. An interesting example of this activity is about say “Road Safety”. The learners may have certain assumptions about how to drive vehicles, the number of accidents that are generally reported, the best ways to drive during night or on highway, the correct method of giving way to another rider and so on. By starting a course by asking learners about myths and facts related to the concept will make them understand it at a deeper level.

2. Rhetorical Questions

An interesting strategy is to use rhetorical questions such as Agree/Disagree or “What do you think?” to make the learners think about the subject. This is a strategy that has evolved from classroom or face-to-face teaching. Good teachers generally start by asking rhetorical questions to wake up students from their slumber or inattentiveness. In the digital learning situation, asking such questions will help learners exercise their mental faculty better.

3. Mini-cases With Follow-up Questions

Another strategy is to have short or mini-cases to tell a story of a product or a success/failure. This can be followed by question to the learner as to what went right or wrong. This strategy helps learners understand the concept better. An example of this could be a failed drug that had to be called back or a failed car tire that caused accidents and had to be recalled by the company. Such cases add spice to the courses and help engagement levels go a notch higher.

4. Checklist

This is a variation of a multiple-choice activity. While in multiple choice activity, there is a pressure to perform and get the answer correct, there is no such pressure in a checklist driven activity. Learners are presented with a series of items that they think are applicable to a situation. There are no right or wrong answers, but diagnostic feedback that helps learners learn about the concept better. An example I can think of is a series of statements related to food habits of adults in a course on food and nutrition. These statements will help learners gauge their understanding of concepts better.

5. Picture Comparison

Another interesting and time-tested interactivity is comparison. Learners are presented with two pictures and asked about which one is correct or a better way is of performing a procedure. After the learner selects an option, the feedback is provided with additional learning and resources. This strategy works well when we are talking about processes and procedures. Instead of just showing a series of steps, we ask learners to make an active choice. The learners are engaged better in this manner.

Case Studies

1. Drug Discovery

The customer wanted their inductees to understand and appreciate the process of drug discovery. We created a course with an interesting interactivities such as mini-cases with follow up questions and decision trees to evoke right responses and better learning. The course was able to help the learners make better choices and improve their learning process.

2. Banking Products

The customer wanted a course that would help improve the completion rates and better application of knowledge gained. We created a course with a series of interactivities. One such interactivity was scenarios with questions. The course was well liked and helped the customer achieve their training goals.



To conclude, there are many ways to make course interesting even when we are following the standard exploratory or discovery-based approach to teaching. The clue is to keep the course interesting by having good interactivities that keep the learners engaged and interested in their learning journey.

Suggested Reading:

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Enhance Your Learning Strategy with the eLearning Trends in 2019

Organizations usually either look for new approaches to training or adopt better approaches so that they can keep learners engaged, ensure knowledge acquisition happens, facilitate the application of the acquired learning on the job, the desired performance gain and ROI occurs, and a positive ROI on the training spend is established.

In order to enhance their training deliveries, organizations are on the lookout for eLearning trends that can help them gain maximum returns in the best possible way. The following are a few eLearning Trends in 2019 to enhance, measure, and maximize the impact and returns on learning strategies.

These eLearning Trends in 2019 ensure that learners learn and apply this learning to show better performance or the required behavioral change. They feature strategies with a proven track record of delivering a better engagement quotient and higher training impact. This list also contains trends that organizations must invest on to measure, enhance, and maximize the impact of their training. Some of these trends are clearly emerging as front runners for investment in the very near future, offering tremendous value in enhancing learning strategies in the new year.

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Find the Correct Action


Fixing bugs is one of the best ways of learning. That is my personal experience and I suspect I am not at all unique. Several years ago I solved a problem for a Captivate user, which I will use now for this challenge.

Watch the output

Goal was to show a sequence of images, not all in the same location, by clicking a button. In this case, there are only 4 images. It is looping, you can continue clicking eternally. No multi state objects were used (they didn’t exist yet when I solved this issue):


Possible actions

To understand the meaning of the labels, here is the timeline of the photo-slide:

You’ll see the Preview of two advanced actions, created in CP2019. They both use one user variable v_click which is defined with a default value of 0.

Action A

Action B

Your challenge

  • Which action will be functional: A or B?
  • Why will the non-functional action fail?
  • Could you ‘fix’ the non-functional action?
  • Why is using a shared action not considered to be an alternative.
  • …. other ideas?

Looking forward to your answers….

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Object Styles in Responsive Projects


This is the last blog in a sequence of 3. In the first article I explained meaning of Object Styles when creating a custom theme, ternminology and how to create a custom object style based on an example on the stage.

The second post explored in depth the Object Style Manager, for creation and managing of Object Styles.

In this last article the focus is only on Responsive projects: tips and tricks to keep in mind for Object Styles in a responsive theme. Since CP2017 Captivate offers two workflows for responsive projects: using Fluid Boxes and using Breakpoint Views. Tips will be specific for each of those workflows. If you want to re-read the advantages/limitations of both workflows, may I recommend reading this post, where I also include the workflow to a Rescalable HTML project.

Fluid Boxes project

For such a project I recommend to use real fluid boxes whenever possible. It is the only way of having a real fluid layout. If you demote (use that negative word on purpose) a Fluid box to a static fluid box to circumvent some limitations like stacking of objects, you lose the real fluidity and the layout can look very weird on smaller browser resolutions.  A static fluid box keeps the width/height ratio, and that may cripple other real fluid boxes on the slide.

Objects not allowed in normal Fluid Boxes

What are the limitations of real fluid boxes? Many objects cannot be used. For the Object styles, that means you don’t have to bother about styling those objects. They all are in the category of the Standard objects:

  • Highlight Box cannot be used because it is meant to be stacked over the object to want to highlight. If outer fill is selected, it is covering up the rest of the slide against that rule.
  • Rollovers are not possible in any fluid box (not even in a static fluid box): Rollover Area, Rollover Slidelet, Slidelet.
  • Zoom object cannot be used for the same stacking limitations: Zoom Source and Zoom Destination

Font size

The font size which you define in the Object style, is for the biggest browser resolution. In the default setup, it is indicated as Desktop (1024x627px). If you have set up a bigger resolution for the desktop, maybe for a 1280px wide resolution, you could prefer a slightly larger font size.

No need to bother about the other browser resolutions. After publishing fonts will decrease in size smoothly until the minimum font size is reached. At that moment the famous ‘icon’ will appear to indicate that te text doesn’t fit in the available text container (shape or caption). Just one tip: set the minimum font size to 10 if you expect to have learners on small browser resolutions.


For full control over the layouts on different screens, you need to switch to Breakpoint mode  workflow, using an option in the Project menu.

Objects not allowed in Breakpoints

All objects allowed for HTML output can be used in Breakpoint mode.  When you check the HTML5 tracker under Project menu, you’ll see th warnings about unsupported items like Slide transitions, Text animations. You’ll see that warning also for Rollover objects. However they will be functional, but only on desktop/laptop screens when a trackpad or a mouse is used. On Mobile screens, the rollovers will not be functional. I would not recommend to use the Rollover slidelet because it is no longer actively supported and can be buggy.

Font size in Breakpoints

In a Breakpoint views project, the font size will not decrease smoothly when you decrease the resolution of the browser. You have to set up the font size for all the Breakpoints you want to use in your project: from 3 (minimum) to 5 (maximum). Between those breakpoints the font size will remain fixed, equal to the setup for the  higher of the two breakpoints the browser resolution is situation: you’ll keep the font size of the Desktop view until the resolution of the landscape Tablet (if you activated it) or the Portrait Tablet is reached.

It is no secret that the Adobe team is promoting the Fluid Boxes workflow over the Breakpoints (which mean more work but offer lot more control to the developer). For that reason, there are no real Breakpoint views themes packaged with Captivate anymore. For a responsive project you always have to start with a Fluid Boxes, where you can use an appropriate theme. When switching to Breakpoints that theme loses all fluid boxes, but the object styles for fonts are not changed: all breakpoint views keep the same font size which is the maximum font size set up for Desktop (or higher Custom size) in the Fluid Boxes.

This is a situation where I use the Object Style Manager to start with the tedious work, eventually to be edited later on while designing the master slides. The OSM will now have a dropdown list for the activated Breakpoints, whenever font size is needed. That is the case for the Captions and Shapes under Standard Objects and for most of the Quizzing Objects. Of course, you don’t have to bother about Captions if you only use shapes and vice versa. Look at this screenshot, for the Title shape, common style in most themes:

When you check the font size for the 4 Breakpoints below the Desktop, you’ll see that the size is fixed. You need to decrease the size gradually. Minimum font size is 10pt. It is a bit guessing at the start to find a good distribution between the maximum and that minimum font size (which is for Mobile Portrait). My workflow:

  • I look for the smallest used font size on Desktop, that will have to be 10pt for the Mobile Portrait.
  • Once you have chosen Mobile Portrait in the dropdown list, it will remain for the other styles. Edit all mobile font sizes at once, related to that smallest size.
  • Landscape Tablet doesn’t have to be much smaller than Desktop, unless you use a really big resolution for the desktop breakpoint. So I’ll set up all the font sizes for that breakpoint.
  • etc.

Here is a check list of the objects I usually edit. Know that I never use captions, only shapes as text containers. As for the buttons, only shapes and transparent buttons (compulsory for quiz slides) are used.  They appear in the same sequence as in the OSM.

  • Buttons: I edit the style(s) for the Transparent button and for the Quiz button here (both will also appear for Buttons in the Quizzing category)
  • Text Entry Box: edit only one style which I set as default style.
  • Text Entry Box button switch to Transparent button whose default style has already been edited
  • Smart Shape: for use as text container.
  • Title: often start with 16p for the lowest breakpoint
  • Subtitle: often start with 14p for the lowest breakpoint
  • Success/Failure/Hint Shape: all need same font sizes. Beware some included themes use same style (Success), you’ll want different styles but with same font size in breakpoints.
  • Quizzing Partial Correct Shape: all other shapes use a default style which has been edited under the Standard objects.
  • Quizzing Progress indicator
  • Quizzing Review Area: is only used on the score slide to store the text about passing/failing
  • Short Answer

IMPORTANT:  Do save the theme when you have finished, and indicate clearly that it is a Breakpoint Views theme. That way you will be able to apply the theme when you have converted another project to a Breakpoint views workflow. If you change the desin a lot throughout , it may be worthwhile to create a Blank project with edited font sizes for Breakpoint Views projects.

Begging; if you do use Breakpoint views because you have learners using a lot of devices and want to have a simple look for the smallest screens, please log feature requests. It should be possible to choose which workflow to prefer when creating a responsive project: Breakpoints or Fluid Boxes.

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“Live preview on Devices” using QR code

Do you have issue with preview using QR code? Is your QR code not giving preview ? No mobile preview using QR code ?

Hey, if you have problem getting “Live preview on Devices” using QR code, Kindly understand this.

Many face problem that their QR got generated and is scanned and even read by mobile BUT no preview!! The reason is explained below.

When you create “Live preview on devices”, the output is created(generated) in your local PC only. Your setup may be such that your mobile can no-way connect to your local PC even thought both (your mobile device as well as PC with captivate) are having internet connection working.

Because your PC is having ip address something like “192.168.1.XYZ” or “” or similar. These address are for intranet, means for local network and can not be accessed directly from internet. Same story is with your mobile. So your mobile can not access your PC output through internet(even though both are having internet connection.)

These both can talk to each other only if they are on the same network (to be exactly: on same local area network).

Consequently, if you want your mobile should show preview by reading QR code, then both should be accessing same router and there by they come on same LAN.

Note: Captivate does give clear message that both PC and mobile device should be on the same intranet, but often we ignore what software says or many could not interpret this message properly.

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