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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 I am going to talk about preparing for recording software simulations. A software simulation is a type of Captivate project that allows you to simulate interactions with a piece of software. This can be done for training purposes. It can also be done for assessment purposes. When Captivate makes a software simulation, it will attempt to record all of the interactions that you have with a piece of software. This includes but isn't limited to motion of your mouse, places where you click, and text fields you may type in.
Captivate captures the interaction with that software as more than simply a screen recording that you might be familiar with from other software. It also includes the mouse track, places where you click, interactions with menus, and places where you may type content. In addition, Captivate can capture a voice track so that you can tell the user what you're about to do or what they should expect to happen. Before we jump into actually recording a software simulation, I would like to talk briefly about preparing for recording that software simulation.
I'll do that using a Captivate presentation that I've built from a PowerPoint presentation. It's included in the Chapter 9 folder in the Project folder and it's called Recording preparation.cptx. If you'd like to follow along with me, please open it. I'll preview the project now and speak to the slides. We are going to talk about preparing for software simulations. First, let's discuss your microphone. You want to have a good quality microphone at hand.
If you want to use a headset, that may be convenient but please test the quality before you purchase. Many of the headsets that you might buy, although they look great, often don't sound that good when you start to make recordings. Macintoshes will often use a USB microphone. Many Windows computers will have a microphone input in addition to USB. So you may have some more flexibility with Windows computers and the types of microphones that you can connect to them. Look around you. Is the room you're in suitable for recording? Make sure that it's a quiet place.
Also, you can muffle the sound reflection in the room by hanging blankets or towels or perhaps even a sleeping bag on the walls. Be sure to shut off your e-mail and phone and other types of electronics that might interrupt the process. Once again make sure there's no interruptions. Let everybody around you know that you're making a recording. Please rehearse. If you practice, you are more likely to get that recording right the first time. This can save you a lot of effort later on in editing.
Use a script when possible. A script makes it possible to proceed more easily when you're doing your demonstration. You can create your script while you're rehearsing. Be sure to test your work before you record. Please don't let you're recording be the first time that you've seen a piece of software. Also gather your assets and files into one place. This will make it possible for you to find them much more easily and keep you from clicking all over the place to try and open a file.
Lastly, have some fun. Making screen recordings can be a fun way to help your colleagues get acclimated to new software and new processes in your company. You can close the preview now. I've provided you with this Captivate file and the PowerPoint file that made it if you'd like to explore what I did.
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