For those people knee-deep in Captivate content creation , it can be worth taking a moment before you’ve invested heavily in terms of both time and money to think a little bit about your total workflow all the way to your course material appearing on your user’s device. There are some potential pitfalls which may not occur to you at the beginning, but which may have a big impact on your overall aims.
I’d like to specifically cover the various components that need to come together for a completed Cp project to be of any use in the real world, especially if you wish to create an engaging user experience.
A very brief primer – eLearning applications are made more personal by the use of two technologies, SCORM and Tin Can. These are a set of standards which allow for different applications to share information with each other, and allows for such things as the tracking of student progression through a course, score results, time spent etc. Tin Can is meant to be a replacement for SCORM and offers an increased set of tracking and measuring tools. Confusingly, Tin Can is also called xAPI (experience API) and SCORM comes in several different versions, with Cp supporting SCORM 1.2 or 2004. Creators get more insight in to how the students interact with the course and the student gets a more tailored experience.
What you should be asking yourself right at the start is, do I need to implement this technology? and does my intended distribution channel support it?
Your answer to the first can’t just be ‘yeah, sure, whatever’ since implementing SCORM/xAPI will definitely add time to your project and quite probably an additional cost, it isn’t just a matter of ticking a checkbox. Your answer to the second shouldn’t just rely on your LMS claiming it supports Cp, since supporting SCORM/xAPI is a different thing and some providers may be happy to display a Cp file but in no way offer provisions for the other.
Just looking at a handful of the more popular LMS on offer you can see the trouble you might run in to:
Out of the box, Learndash supports Cp but won’t handle any kind of tracking for projects made in Cp. To get this to work you must purchase an addon of which there are a couple of choices, one of which requires an annual license, another needs an addon for the addon! (more $)
Teachable doesn’t offer any support for Cp, xAPI or SCORM
Thinkific requires a business level account ($99/m) to host Cp projects but specifically states that even this account level doesn’t come with support for xAPI/SCORM
For an LMS to play nice with these reporting formats means that you must investigate a second level of behind-the-scenes setup, a Learning Record System (LRS). This is what stores all the data generated by user interaction with the coursework.
None of this is meant to put you off using Cp, but it is better to invest some time early on making sure that your intended LMS fully supports whatever tracking you aim to implement, and also to be aware of the additional costs involved. Without any kind of user engagement tracking you have no idea if they went through all your carefully prepared slides or if they gave up right at the start. Similarly the students will be denied a far more personal learning experience.
Disclaimer – I’m in no way an expert on this subject, these are purely the issues that I’ve encountered so far. If anyone more knowledgeable spots a mistake I’ve made, please let me know.