Join James Lockman for an in-depth discussion in this video Captivate 101, part of Captivate 5 Essential Training.
In this lesson, I am going to provide a brief overview of the things that we do with Captivate. Many people ask, well, isn't Captivate just screen capture? It turns out that it isn't. Captivate can make many types of projects that go well beyond simply capturing the screen. Captivate can build presentations, and these presentations aren't just things that go from one end to the other; they often include interactivity and movies and audio and other types of interactions that you can build that you just can't get any place else. They can include simulations, and simulations aren't just about software.
It can also be about hardware. It can be about business processes or manufacturing processes. Captivate is very useful in building simulations because then you can take advantage of training opportunities that perhaps could be very expensive or dangerous if you were working on actual equipment, or in dangerous situations. You can also build assessments with Captivate. Assessments allow us to figure out whether or not a learner has actually internalized the information we are trying to teach them. Assessments could be quizzes, like short answer questions, or true or false question, or perhaps a matching question.
Captivate can also build task-based assessments. These types of assessments require that the user interact with the program in order to pass the assessment. Oftentimes these get build for software simulations and software assessments, but they can also get used for situational assessments and for process training. Who is the typical Captivate user? Many of us are trainers who use Captivate. We use Captivate to build content that will either augment what we are doing in a classroom, or perhaps it would be the entire interaction that a student might have with that course material.
As more and more school systems, colleges, and companies are moving towards e-learning, Captivate is an essential tool to help enable that transition. Salespeople often use Captivate as well. Salespeople will build persuasion-based presentations. They are trying to get you to change your mind, or perhaps to buy their product. Sometimes it's all about getting you to think about their product in anticipation of a visit from them later on. Many people use Captivate to build self- running presentations that can be sent to a potential customer so that they can watch it on their own terms, and then that sales person will engage them after the fact.
Many HR departments use Captivate to be able to build training content and assessments so that they can evaluate whether their workers are learning the materials they need to learn and using the skills that they have been taught. Oftentimes they will use programs that they built with Captivate to determine whether or not a person is eligible for promotion, for instance. People who are building interactive applications, whether they are delivered online or on DVD, are also using Captivate. Captivate has a lot of options to incorporate interactive elements into your projects.
Interactivity isn't just clicking a button and then watching something happen. It can also include video, audio, or interaction with other web sites and other content. How is Captivate different from Adobe Presenter? Adobe Presenter is a plug-in to PowerPoint. Because it's a plug-in, it needs PowerPoint in order to operate. Presenter is designed to help you turn a PowerPoint presentation into e-learning content. Presenter extends the functions of PowerPoint by enabling you to insert Flash content, quizzes, movies, sound, and a little bit of branching into your PowerPoint presentations.
It can produce stand-alone presentations or presentations that can be uploaded into your learning management system. Presenter is a linear product. When you think about how you use PowerPoint, PowerPoint tells a story from one end to the other. There is not a lot of branching or decision making in between. Captivate can build complex branching and decision making based not only on someone clicking a button, but also on logic: looking at what's happened up to that point, examining variables, and examining how a person is behaving during the course of the presentation.
Not only does Captivate allow for complex branching, it also allows for far more content types to be used in the presentations. While Presenter is limited to what PowerPoint can present, plus the Flash, video, and audio that you can add using Presenter, Captivate allows you to do much more. You can incorporate the same content that you can with Presenter, but in addition, you can also add links to other web sites, or incorporate other presentations and other programs directly inside your Captivate files.
In addition, Captivate has more publishing options than we see inside of Presenter. Presenter is limited to a few learning management systems that it can interact with, plus the ability to produce a stand-alone PDF. Captivate has far more options, including self-running presentations that can run on both Mac and Windows. If you have some skills already with Presenter, you are going to be able to use them most likely here in Captivate. If you are starting from scratch, Captivate is a great application to help you to build all of those things that we have discussed earlier, and much more.
- Touring the interface and workspaces
- Building a basic project with shapes, objects, and text
- Branding a presentation using master slides and object styles
- Exploring user-based content at Captivate Exchange
- Animating with the Timeline
- Adding buttons, rollover images, and captions
- Creating branching presentations
- Working with templates
- Recording a simulation
- Creating assessments with customized questions
- Setting up quiz reporting on acrobat.com
- Exporting and sharing a project
Skill Level Beginner
Q: I am having some problems with Captivate reviewer permissions and was directed to the following solution of James' blog, but I'm having trouble implementing it. Is there a simpler solution or has Adobe released a patch?
In order to execute the step entitled "Assign write permission to owners and groups", you need to enable the root user. In addition, you need to add the "sudo" command before the following steps in this section:
sudo chmod -R o+w Adobe\ Captivate\ Reviewer\ 2.0.app
sudo chmod -R g+w Adobe\ Captivate\ Reviewer\ 2.0.app
You can disable the root user when you're done with updating permissions.