Details of the Adobe Captivate (2019) Specialist Certification experience: The Summit – Part 3 of 3 in a series

Finally I was certified as an Adobe Captivate (2019) Specialist. And so, it was time for the Adobe Learning Summit and the opportunity to hear from industry experts, take time to reflect on my experiences and celebrate in a city that’s built for fun.

Adobe Learning Summit

The Adobe Learning Summit is a complimentary event that I was automatically register for when I signed up for the certification training. For me, this was an exciting next step because it potentially meant there was a community of professionals who I could get to know, learn from and share with. I hadn’t had such an opportunity for quite some time and I missed it very much.

The Summit, like the certification training, was held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. But, on the day of the conference it was clear that people were in much higher spirits. Those who had successfully completed the training the day before could now pick up their framed certificate and have a professional photograph taken with it. It was fun to see a few office teams smiling and laughing in group photo sessions. They’d rolled a professional development day and team building activity all into one.

I’d preregistered for my sessions using the Adobe Summit app that I’d downloaded earlier. And, unusual for me, I stuck with what I’d selected as I went through the day. Sessions included product demonstrations of Adobe Prime, presentations on specific features of Captivate 2019 (such as the 360 degree slide capabilities) and presentations on eLearning strategies and best practices. All in all, there was a lot to choose from.

One session that stood out to me was a presentation about the on-boarding strategies used by Adobe itself. The organization is quite large so new employee intake functions on an equally large scale. Using Adobe Connect, the company welcomes their employees online but in a personal way by engaging them with questions, discussions and activities. One of the presenters stated that for her, engagement at the on-boarding phase includes being aware that people are probably “multi screening.” With this in mind they develop strategies for the on-boarding sessions to keep the new employee’s “hands on the keyboard”.

Some reflections

By this point, I’d completed about 30-hours of online pre-training, a full day of face-to-face training, a certification exam and the better part of an eLearning conference. Reflecting on my experience, it was clear that Adobe has an excellent software, a team of dedicated experts and a desire to bring eLearning to the next level. As a certified specialist, I was excited to officially be a part of it all.

My hope is that their innovation, passion and dedication continues to enrich the Adobe Captivate Certified Specialist course. The certification training is excellent but it would have been wonderful if it included, for example, an Adobe Connect event to on-board the learner cohort. As well, the pre-training videos would have benefited from the innovative learning capabilities inherent in Captivate and Prime, such as knowledge checks, learning interactions and gamification. Perhaps these learning strategies and best practices could enrich the face-to-face training as well. Indeed, the certification course is an opportunity for Adobe to showcase all that is possible with their eLearning products. With the creative team that Adobe has in their ranks, perhaps these possibilities are already in the works and I feel excited about what might be on the horizon for their certification program.

Celebration

The Learning Summit came to a close and it was time to relax and celebrate. For myself, I enjoyed a quick dinner and then headed to the Adobe poolside party on the rooftop of the Hard Rock Hotel. When we arrived, a light punch was offered and tasty appetizers. An incredible live band was playing and we all chatted and swayed to the music (pictured). There were smiles all around as the sun set and the palm trees became silhouettes. Unbelievably, the hour finally came when I had to head to the airport. I grabbed a taxi and before I knew it I was heading northeast, to cooler temperatures, and to my home. What an adventure it had been.

Tips from the road

  • As there are many great sessions to choose from at the Adobe Summit consider coming with colleagues, splitting up and sharing what’s been learned later on.
  • Use the event app to select your sessions. It helps you stay on track and know where to go (it includes a venue floor plan).
  • Be sure to stick around and take in the evening reception. It caps off the event and it’s a perfect venue to meet new people.

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Details of the Adobe Captivate (2019) Specialist Certification: Face-to-Face training – Part 2 of 3 in a series

After completing the online pre-training for the Adobe Captivate (2019) Specialist certification I was ready for the one-day face-to-face training in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Arriving and getting settled

My flight departed Ottawa on the tail-end of Tuesday afternoon. We had a stopover in Toronto and then zipped westward to Nevada. Total time was a quick six hours.

The taxi from the airport was also quick since the city seems to be organized so that you can get the fun started without too much delay. For myself, I stayed at a hotel on the Las Vegas Boulevard. Most people however, stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, which is just off the main drag. Naturally, staying at the Hard Rock offered participants easy access to the certification training and eLearning Summit as this was the property Adobe had aligned with.

Attending the face-to face-training

On the morning of the training I took a cab to the Hard Rock Hotel (not the Hard Rock Cafe which is a totally different thing…). I registered at the desk and received a welcome pack complete with the Kevin Siegel book “Adobe Captivate 2019: Essentials”, an Adobe notebook and a set of virtual reality goggles. Very cool!

The F2F training was set up in lecture-style rooms with about 50 learners in each. Everyone had their laptops plugged in and ready to go. My particular group had Paul Wilson as instructor, a Legend-level Adobe eLearning Community Member (and fellow Canadian).

We began the day with little preamble at 8:00am. Throughout the day, Paul was supported by several established Adobe Captivate evangelists, educators and experts who shared their tips and strategies with us. The volume of content we went through was intense. Though we had breaks and lunch, it felt like we hardly came up for air. And, despite having completed the pre-training, I found myself having to really focus to keep up with Paul as he walked us through the highlights of the software and several activities. As Paul explained and demonstrated the activity, we followed along and recreated the project on our computers. Questions came from the group but primarily we forged ahead, learning by doing.

Writing the exam

Before we knew it the day had come to a close and it was exam time. At around 3:45pm we received instructions about the assessment process. There were a few issues getting started but by about 4:10pm we were all quietly focused on completing the exam.

The test was an Adobe Captivate quiz delivered to us on our laptops via Adobe Captivate Prime. There were 40 questions and we needed to achieve 75% or higher to pass. The first question was easy. But, from that point onwards the questions weren’t easy at all. Fortunately, we could access our notes and also Siegel’s book. Within an hour, the test was done and presto, we received our results! Instantly we knew whether we’d passed or not. It seemed so unbelievable to me that I took a picture of my results as proof (pictured).

“So, what exactly were those quiz questions?,” you might ask. Oh my dear reader, for the answer to that you’ll have to take the training and find out for yourself…

Tips from the road

  • With such an early start to the day, book with the property recommended by Adobe or with one close to the event venue.
  • Take good notes throughout the day and organize them for easy search. You’ll use them during the exam.
  • If provided, keep the Kevin Siegel book “Adobe Captivate 2019: The Essentials” close-by as you write the exam. For me, it came in handy for only one quiz question but, one more correct answer can make all the difference to the end result.

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Details of the Adobe Captivate (2019) Specialist Certification experience: Getting started – Part 1 of 3 in a series

Details of the Adobe Captivate (2019) Specialist Certification experience: Getting started – Part 1 of 3 in a series

I completed the Adobe Captivate (2019) Specialist certification in Las Vegas this past fall. But, before I even got to Nevada, the learning experience had begun.

Registration

The registration process for the Adobe Captivate Specialist certification course in Las Vegas, Nevada was relatively straight forward. I went online, paid the $499 USD fee and was registered to both the course and the one day co-located Adobe Learning Summit. Even when paying with Canadian dollars, the price seemed very reasonable. Meanwhile, I had never been to Las Vegas and thought it would be a great opportunity to combine business with pleasure.

Opening up the online course

Two weeks prior to the face-to-face training in Las Vegas I received an email giving me access to Adobe Prime and the Adobe Captivate Specialist Certification course. When I got into the course, what I found was a series of videos – 20 in total. There were also a set of Captivate 2019 projects that I downloaded using the trial 30-day Adobe Captivate subscription that I had set up in advance. The videos and the Captivate projects were mostly the “Enfin8y – Ergonomics” project (pictured). The whole of it seemed intense. But with some planning, I knew I could get in done in time for the face-to-face training in Las Vegas. Or, so I hoped.

Getting started

Once I started playing the videos I grasped the volume of work ahead of me. Although it was a total of seven hours of video, each video included a practice activity. Essentially, you re-create the “Enfin8y – Ergonomics” project step-by-step. While learning by doing is excellent pedagogy, the reality of it translated into about 30 hours of work. I would watch the video and with my free trail subscription, would complete the associated activity. Back and forth between playing the video, doing the activity and replaying the video it went. Meanwhile, the time to board my flight to Vegas loomed.

Completing the pre-training

Near the end of the allotted two weeks I played the very last video of the pre-training. It was a total of 3 minutes. Short and sweet. The online instructor, who’s voice had become synonymous for me with the certification process, wished us good luck with the exam. I thought with a little dismay, “Would I be ready?” I could feel the test anxiety tightening in my chest. After 30 hours of training I believed I was probably prepared but that I’d only just scratched the surface of this incredibly comprehensive software. Meanwhile, the pre-training was done and dusted. I was ready as I would (n)ever be. I could only hope that the work I’d done had been enough.

Tips from the road

  • Get started with the online training right away and plan your time. 
  • Download a free trial version of Adobe Captivate 2019 or get a full subscription.
  • Build in time to reflect on what you are learning. Rushing and cramming will make it challenging to retain what you have learned.
  • Have fun!

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Adobe Captivate Specialist

Give your eLearning career the edge it deserves.

Power up your professional profile and stand out with the industry-leading Adobe Captivate Specialist recognition. Learn from the best in the business how you can unlock the potential of Adobe Captivate to create brilliant eLearning courses. Successfully complete the online assessment, get endorsed as a Specialist, and earn a certificate and badge for use in your professional and social networks.

About the Program

The Adobe Captivate Specialist is a full-day certificate classroom program, delivered by top Adobe Captivate experts. You will be enrolled into the course as soon as you register and will receive course instructions and prep materials two weeks prior to the on-site program date. One the day of Certification, you will join other members in the classroom training. Following the training you will complete an online assessment – upon successful completion, you will receive your Adobe Captivate Specialist certificate.

Who Should Attend

The Adobe Captivate Specialist certificate program is ideal for instructional designers, training professionals, L&D professionals, and eLearning consultants that have basic to intermediate proficiency in instructional design and eLearning course-creation workflows. Seats are limited. For more details, please contact grp-captivatespecialist@adobe.com

The Takeaway

By the end of this program, participants will have mastered all the major workflows in the latest release of Adobe Captivate – ranging from creating storyboards, to designing static and responsive courses, building custom animations, using advanced actions and eLearning assets, and more.
The agenda will cover the following topics in detail:
  • Introduction to Adobe Captivate (2019 release)
  • Touring the Adobe Captivate interface
  • Building storyboards using Adobe Captivate Draft
  • Creating static and responsive courses in Adobe Captivate
  • Using themes and eLearning assets
  • Inserting interactive and non-interactive objects
  • Building custom animations and interactions
  • Using advanced actions and variables
  • Recording and editing simulations and video demos
  • Using Adobe Captivate with other applications, such as Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Adding assessments and quizzes
  • Enabling Learning Management System (LMS) compliance and accessibility
  • Previewing and publishing the courses to an LMS

Requirements

  • All participants are required to bring their own laptop computers with Adobe Captivate (2019 release) pre-installed (if you do not already have the 2019 release you can download a free trial within 30 days of the program). Those without the 2019 release will NOT be able to complete or pass the assessment.
  • The demo files and assets will be emailed to you two weeks prior to the classroom session. These must be completed and reviewed before the on-site classroom session.
  • Please bring power adaptors for your computers; access to power for charging will be provided.

Pricing & Payment

The standard price for the full-day program is $499 USD. Payment is required for admittance into the program. If payment is not received, your entry will not be permitted. This program is non-refundable. Under no circumstances will refunds be issued. The price covers the registration fee, food and beverages for the day, and the certificate and badge if the assessment is successfully passed.
*Federal Employees, if you would like to register for this event and cannot submit payment online.

For more details, please contact grp-captivatespecialist@adobe.com

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Baby and I Journey to Adobe Learning Summit, Las Vegas 2018

I’m CheRae, an (aspiring freelance) Instructional designer specializing in developing eLearning courses.

The thing I like most about being an Instructional Designer is that I get to wear so many different hats. In a single day, I’ve been a Film Maker, Voice Actor, Script Writer, Producer, Photographer, Graphic Designer, Teacher, and Video Game Developer!​

My eLearning journey first began in college when I created an LMS site in my Curriculum Instruction class. I enjoyed the assignment so much that during my work study as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant I persuaded the Instructor to allow me to build a site for our class. That experience enabled me to obtain my first Instructional Design internship before graduating, where I first used the Adobe Captivate authoring tool.

After starting a family and taking a hiatus from developing eLearning products I recently got serious about sharpening my skills and attended the Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas where I completed the Adobe Captivate Specialist assessment following the pre-work modules. While I thought it very difficult to complete all of the pre-work modules within the two week period things at the convention went fairly smooth.

Everything was awesome! Adobe created an app to help attendees register for breakout sessions and navigate the convention halls where there was tons of free food around every corner and plenty of interesting topics and people. The keynote speaker even elicited a tear from my eye as she spoke about the difficulties of raising a family and being a career woman and since I had traveled to the convention with a 12-month-old infant her words really resonated with me at a time that I really needed to hear them.

The best part of it all is that I get continued access to the library of video tutorials from Dr. Pooja Jaisingh Adobe Prime. I have to admit I was little skeptical but I can know testify that it was worth every penny!

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The Complete Learning Technologist Certificate – Coming to Orlando in February!

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 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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Adobe eLearning Conference & Captivate Specialist Training

I’m not just a speaker at the upcoming Adobe eLearning Conference in Washington DC on March 13th, 2019, but I’m also an attendee. For those who are unsure if this event is worth your time or the effort to convince your boss, consider the following.

During the previous years events, I met a bunch of people like myself who design eLearning for their living. It’s really great sharing similar experiences with one another, and knowing we are not alone in the challenges we face. More importantly, though, I got to hear other ideas and solutions as to how to solve elearning challenges. As a freelancer, I just don’t get that in my home office. My two office companions are great for other reasons but they don’t offer any suggestions for improving my eLearning designs.

Each Adobe live event offers a glimpse of what eLearning at Adobe will look like in the future. I first learned about virtual reality, fluid box responsive design, and interactive video at past Adobe live events and I’m looking forward to learning about new features this spring.

As I said up front, I’m also an attendee. When I’m not speaking or sitting in on the general sessions, I will be attending my fellow speaker’s sessions. Thanks to them, the effort I put into preparing material to speak about is returned to me tenfold. The creative solutions I’ve learned from my fellow speakers has allowed me to offer a wider range of eLearning solutions to my clients. I’m very thankful for the knowledge my fellow speakers have given me.

A new feature of the last few Adobe live events has been the Adobe Captivate Specialist training. The Adobe Captivate specialist training is a separate registration and requires a fee of $499. A short time before the conference you will get you access to pre-session training material. The pre-session training material is over seven hours of tutorials from Dr. Pooja Jaisingh. If you don’t know Pooja, she is the leading expert in Adobe Captivate and works as a Senior Evangelist for Adobe eLearning.

On the day of the Specialist training, you will register and be assigned to one of several classes. Breakfast is included and then you will begin your Captivate training until it’s time to break for lunch (also included). Later in the afternoon once all the training is concluded you will begin your assessment. You’ll know right away if you are successful and then you’re free to break until the conference the next day, where you will also get your certificate and a digital badge that you can add to your LinkedIn profile that is verifiable by potential employers.

Probably the most important aspect of this conference is the value. The conference itself is completely free, and if you elect to get your Adobe Captivate Specialist designation it’s only going to cost you or your organization the $499. Breakfast and lunch are included for the conference. Sure you have to pay for your transportation and accommodation but that would be true of any conference you decide to attend in 2019. Most eLearning conferences without any certifications are a thousand or more dollars just to register. If you use Adobe Captivate, are switching to Adobe Captivate, or are considering Adobe Captivate this is the conference for you.

I hope to see you in Washington DC on either March 12th, March 13th, or on both days.

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Successfully Implement Your Learning Management System (Includes Webinar Recording & Slides)

On November 29, I presented a 60 minute session on how to efficiently implement an LMS, based on my experience during 30+ implementations I’ve led or consulted on for clients and former employers.

The full session recording contains links to additional resources, including an implementation task list from from my book, LMS Success.  I also provide links to some of the videos on YouTube channel Learn Tech Collective.  If you’d like to get to know other professionals in e-learning and learning technology, create an account on the Adobe Elearning blog or join the 2,300 members of LinkedIn group Learning Management System (LMS) Administrators.  You may be interested in the Learning Technologist Certification at Training 2019.

After the session, some attendees asked me whether an LMS consultant is necessary when going through an implementation.  My short answer is no, and my full answer is in this post I wrote awhile back. 

If you would like to check out the full session recording, click here.  The description is below.  And here are the slides:

Congratulations! You’ve selected the perfect learning management system (LMS). Now what? Join Katrina Marie Baker in this 60-minute webinar for a lively discussion and some amusing war stories from past implementations. 

Our agenda will cover how to: 

  • Complete your implementation so smoothly that executive leadership is in awe of your project management skills. 
  • Avoid common pitfalls that cause your implementation to stretch out longer than originally expected. 
  • Work effectively with your LMS vendor to determine a timeline, set expectations, and get everything done on time. 
  • Assemble an administrator team that is excited, knowledgeable, and well organized.

Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn!

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Captivate Training

Back in August, I was lucky enough to have a Captivate 2019 training course with a world-renowned Captivate expert (who has requested to be unnamed). This training course gave me an unparalleled insight into the features and best practices of Captivate.

The training was formatted in a way that catered to new Captivate users as well as users who had a simple understanding of Captivate, like me. Not only were we taught the information, but we were then given to chance to learn and make mistakes on our own. Upon completion of each task, the instructor recommended better ways to solve our problems.

While I learned a lot during this training, some of the most important elements were best practices for using Captivate to improve efficiency in our builds. For instance, I learned how to create custom workspaces, which has since saved me a lot of time. I’ve also learned how to create defaults based upon my project building needs (add properties, timing, library, etc). Additionally, I gained a better understanding of the differences between responsive and blank projects and learned about the new 2019 feature, interactive videos.

By the end of this training course, I not only learned new tools, but I also learned better course building strategies. My previous learning had been self-taught and was very limited, but my instructor provided knowledge and experience to improve my future courses.

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