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In Captivate 5 Essential Training, author James Lockman demonstrates the core features of Captivate 5, the popular tool for authoring e-learning content such as interactive presentations, click-through simulations, and customized assessments. He shows how to import and sync PowerPoint presentations, add interactivity, and incorporate audio, video, and voiceovers. The course also includes tutorials on assessment reporting and integrating with SCORM-compliant learning management systems. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this lesson we are going to create a software simulation project. Before we do that, we've got to do little preparation. For this exercise we're going to simulate filling in a form on a web site. I'm going to switch to Firefox now. In Firefox, I'm viewing the Two Trees Olive Oil web site. This is at www.twotreesoliveoil.com. You can go there too. Once you there, click on the Contact link. Next, we want to select Kurt James as the person that we are going to contact.
In this software simulation, we are going to simulate sending an e-mail to Kurt James. We'll begin recording from here. During the recording, I'll explain that we are training how to fill out this form. I'll explain what each of the fields are and then suggests some entries that someone could use to fill out the form. When I'm done, I'll stop the recording. Let's go back to Captivate so that we can begin the recording process. From Captivate, I would like to create a new software simulation. Before I create the software simulation, however, I've got to ensure that my microphone is going to record what I say.
We can ensure that we're going to capture audio correctly in the Preferences. On a Macintosh, this is located under the Adobe Captivate menu. On a Windows computer, it's under the Edit menu. Under the Recording category, choose Settings. Now choose Audio Settings. Select your audio input device here. Your audio input device will be the microphone you're going to use while you're recording. For me, I'm choosing Built-In Digital Input.
Your microphone choice will be different. Because I know that my input requires the CD Bitrate, I've chosen it already. Depending on your microphone, you might be able to choose a lower bit rate. A lower bit rate will result in a smaller file but higher compression. Having made your audio quality choice click OK. Now I can close my Preferences. We can create a new software simulation from the Welcome screen by choosing Create New, and then Software Simulation. We can also do it from the File menu. Choose File and Record new project.
Captivate will initially disappear. We need to establish what we're going to record. We can record either a specific area of the screen or we can record an application. I'm going to choose Application in this case because I only want to record my interactions with Firefox. I need to select which application I want to record. I'm going to choose Firefox and Two Trees Olive Oil Company. You can see that there's a red line now that appears all the way around the Firefox window.
This tells me the area that's going to be recorded. By default, Captivate is going to snap to the application window. I could also snap to the application region, which is bigger on a Macintosh because it includes the menu bar. Lastly, I could choose a custom size, which would then record only a specific portion of the screen. Next, I have to determine what type of recording I'm going to make. Captivate is very good about making decisions between whether or not to use full motion recording, which is like recording a movie, and the recording that it makes when it's capturing the different events.
It can switch back and forth as necessary if we leave the recording on Automatic. I'm recommending that for most of the work that you do Automatic is going to be just fine. Let's leave that setting on Automatic. We can also determine what we're going to record. We can actually make more than one recording at once. A Demo recording will include the voiceover that we're going to record, plus all of the mouse movements, and the interactions with menus or tabs, and anything that we type into form fields. If I record a Training, it will record all of that but it will provide hints along the way and will stop at specific actions.
If I click on the menu during the recording, then the playback will stop and wait for the user to click on the menu. It will also give them hints as to where they should be clicking. The advantage of recording a training is that you can have a learner go through the process of using an application without actually using the application. The last type of recording is the assessment recording. An assessment is a way for you to determine whether or not the learner is actually learned how to do that process.
In an assessment, all hints and recordings are removed. What's left are the interactions that the user must make in the appropriate order to achieve the results that were trying to train. Let's enable Assessment and Training in addition to Demo for this recording. Panning will follow your mouse around if you have a smaller recording area. We are not going to pan because we are recording the entire screen. There's no need to pan around there. If you had a smaller capture area, however, you might enable Automatic Panning.
This will allow you to have a smaller area of the screen that will follow the mouse. Lastly, we want to record our audio narration. I'm going to choose it from the Built-in Digital Input. Now we know how to set up our recording to capture a demonstration, a training and an assessment, we are going to capture the audio as well so that we can instruct the learner what we are about to do and what we are doing while we are doing it. We are going to actually make the recording in the next lesson.
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