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Because we use Captivate to create eLearning content, and now mLearning content, the mobile version of eLearning, we should understand the basics of eLearning. This will help us to understand the ultimate goal of what we are creating. So let's start with defining what eLearning really is. Now, there are many definitions out there, but they all share the same general description, and that is that eLearning activities are delivered in electronic format, typically using a computer with a connection to the Internet.
eLearning is often called by other names too, like distance learning, distance education, or Web-based training, online learning, and others. And with the recent influx of mobile devices, we now begin to hear of mobile learning, or mLearning, and Captivate 6 will allow you to create both eLearning and mLearning content. Now, eLearning can be used to educate learners on just about anything that you can imagine, but there are three major types of eLearning to consider. First, we have informal eLearning.
When surfing Web sites, many will now offer eLearning material at no cost. Informal eLearning, such as studying software materials, can help you improve your knowledge, and polish your skills. Then we have something known as corporate eLearning. Many businesses out there will train their employees through eLearning programs to prepare professional staff for success in their industry, and keep their knowledge current. And then there's academic eLearning. Students can often earn an accredited degree, for example, through the Internet, thanks to hundreds of eLearning degree programs now offered.
Captivate 6 can be used to create any of these types of eLearning. When we create eLearning courses, and content, it's important to understand the various components of an affective eLearning course if we want our learners to benefit from our efforts. First, by making your eLearning content interactive, people become engaged, and they are more willing to make the most of their online learning environment. It also allows you, the author, to include more sophisticated materials, without scaring learners off who might be new to the information.
We will be using Captivate 6 to create interactivity in our eLearning projects. By approaching each topic in your eLearning project with creativity in how you convey the information, you can really help to increase the effectiveness of your training, and make it stick. You need your learners to remember what they've learned, and Captivate 6 has a number of features and functions that help make your eLearning project interesting and memorable. Your eLearning project should take into account various levels of learners, and abilities, as well as changing content; making it simple for people to progress and track their progress, they can easily return to a place where they have left off.
Also be prepared to accommodate changes in your eLearning content as products evolve over time. If content in your eLearning project becomes incorrect or outdated, its lifespan becomes drastically reduced. It's also important to make your eLearning tool helpful. People may need instructions or tips for completing modules, as well as resources for accessing definitions and terms, or even who to contact in case of technical issues. Consider adding a Help button that is clearly visible, and a Glossary perhaps.
Of course, this is easily done with Captivate 6. Now, busy schedules often make it challenging to accommodate time for eLearning tools, so by making tools accessible from the Internet, you give people the option of taking advantage of them from outside of a work environment. You might also consider creating a CD-ROM based version of your training for low bandwidth scenarios, for users to take home, or on the road to have on hand when needed. The incremental cost of including a CD-ROM version of the training can be minimal compared to the extended reach of that training.
With Captivate 6, there are number of publishing options to make your eLearning tool accessible. So these are some very basic principles of eLearning to consider once you start the creation process. Captivate 6 includes tools, features, and functions to help you author content that takes into consideration each of these components, including some very useful new features that we will explore next.
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